The Seattle Sounders are into their fourth MLS Cup in the last five years, beating Minnesota United FC 3-2 Monday night in a Western Conference Final for the ages, rattling off three unanswered goals to complete a remarkable comeback at Lumen Field.
The game-winner came from Gustav Svensson in the 93rd minute, with the Swedish midfielder nodding home a near-post header off a corner kick as stoppage time ticked away. That made it 3-2, capping three goals in 18 minutes from the defending MLS Cup champions.
Raul Ruidiaz equalized in the 89th minute, making it 2-2 when wide open at the back post off a corner kick. Svensson challenged the first service, and then it bounced to Ruidiaz for the calm finish to draw the Sounders level.
After facing a 2-0 deficit, Seattle first found a lifeline in the 75th minute through Will Bruin. The second-half substitute lashed home a second effort after Ruidiaz’s initial effort was blocked, and Bruin reacted first to beat goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair with a crisp finish that made it 2-1.
While Seattle stormed back, the first two-thirds of the game set up another Minnesota upset sparked by Emanuel Reynoso. Reynoso’s effort gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute, with the Argentine No. 10 bending his free kick up and over the wall into the side netting as it evaded Stefan Frei’s outstretched arms. The whole opportunity came after Shane O’Neill supplied a heavy challenge on Ethan Finlay atop the 18-yard box.
Bakaye Dibassy’s header then gave the Loons a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute, with Reynoso picking out the French center back with an in-swinging free kick from the left. Dibassy evaded Nouhou Tolo’s mark in the 18-yard box, then made no mistake with the finish.
The Sounders thought they had an equalizer at 1-1 in the 53rd minute through Ruidiaz, but the goal was overturned by Video Review after it was deemed that the Peruvian forward fouled Minnesota center back Michael Boxall in the buildup.
Seattle also had a Video Review shout in the 81st minute, when Cristian Roldan and Chase Gasper collided on the edge of the penalty area. The call on the field stood, though, so the Sounders weren’t awarded a penalty kick after the collision. Pouring on pressure in the second half, Seattle also came within inches of a goal in the 65th minute. However, Jordan Morris fired his left-footed rocket off the outside of the post.
(story courtesy of Jonathan Sigal, of MLS.com)