After letting a 1-0 lead slip away on Tuesday evening, Minnesota United might have thought luck was not on its side yet again this season.
Fortunes changed quickly for the Loons though, with a late surge delivering a shocking result in Atlanta. Leading scorer Christian Ramirez and key playmaker Kevin Molino each netted goals in second-half stoppage time to give the Loons a stunning 3-2 road win against Atlanta United.
Hector Villalba had the only efforts on goal in the first half, being kept out by Bobby Shuttlesworth on both occasions.
It only took three minutes into the second-half for the visitors to break the deadlock. Abu Danladi’s left-footed effort from long-range found the top right corner for a 1-0 Looks lead. It was the Ghanaian’s eight goal of the season, as Kevin Molino was credited with the assist.
Atlanta United keeper Kyle Reynish saw a straight red card in the 60th-minute, after for a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity. Video review was needed, and Armando Villarreal sent the 33-year-old off.
Brett Kallman came close to adding the insurance goal for the Loons in the 63rd-minute from a header inside the box.
Villalba netted the equalizer for Atlanta United in the 67th-minute from a left-footed finish. It was the Argentinian’s 13th league goal of the season. Julian Gressel looked to have completed the comeback for Atlanta in the 72nd-minute, finishing off Yamil Asad’s assist to the top left corner.
After failing to put away several chances earlier, the Loons pressure finally paid off as Ramirez finished from close range in the 92nd-minute. Things were not finished as Molino headed home Minnesota’s winner in the 96th-minute.
It was a complete breakdown for Atlanta United, which missed the chance to jump to second in the Eastern Conference standings. Shuttlesworth made three saves in the win, while Minnesota had four shots on goal.
Minnesota United (10-16-5) bounced back from a loss last weekend in Houston, and next return home on Oct. 7th to face Sporting KC.
Atlanta United (15-9-8) remains in third place in the Eastern Conference, and see an eight-match unbeaten run snapped with the defeat. The Five Stripes are off this weekend, before traveling to face the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 15th.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kevin Molino earned man of the match honors, scoring the decisive winner for the Loons. The Trinidad & Tobago man also added an assist on Minnesota’s opener, and was very influential all around in Tuesday’s comeback win.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Ramirez’s equalizer looked to have been enough for the Loons who seemed to be fine with a point. However, that was just the start of things as Molino headed home the winner and sealed a memorable road win for Adrian Heath’s side.
MATCH TO FORGET
After coming on as a second-half sub, Atlanta midfielder Jeff Larentowicz was the guilty party in Minnesota’s winning goal. The 34-year-old was late to get to Molino who was free just enough to head home the winner, a costly mental breakdown by the MLS veteran.