Emanuel Reynoso dropped jaws at Allianz Field. Again.

Awarded a free kick well outside of the 18-yard box, the Minnesota United star midfielder left-footed a set-piece goal that curled in and away from Puebla goalkeeper Jesús Rodríguez. The crowd crackled into mayhem, though the Loons had already led by three goals.

Reynoso's goal gave him two goals to match Bongokuhle Hlongwane, as MNUFC surged past Club Puebla to open Leagues Cup play with a 4-0 victory.

"They were able to watch some footage of [Puebla] during training and just see how their players' movement were more different and more away from that area, so he was able to curl that ball towards that corner," Reynoso's translator said.

A month away from his team's next MLS match, Adrian Heath said United had no plans to overlook the inaugural Leagues Cup. The tournament includes all MLS and Liga MX teams, with three CONCACAF Champions Cup spots at stake.

Reynoso and Hlongwane clearly got the memo, as they carried the Loons' offense.

Just six minutes into the second half, Reynoso fed Hlongwane with a well-placed cross that set up the 23-year-old South African for a high-percentage header amid few surrounding Puebla defenders.

"I'd be lying if I said we drew it up where Rey went down the right wing, crossed it with his right foot, and he headed it in — but it was a great play," Heath said.

"They have to have the willingness to get there. That's what gets you the goal."

Then Hlongwane paid Reynoso back.

Cut off from an otherwise electric sprint along the right side of the box, Hlongwane handed the possession to Reynoso — and all he had to do on this occasion was a chip, redeeming his first-half miss on the same type of shot that just barely missed off the crossbar.

"It's easy for me to play with Rey because he understand me," Hlongwane said. "I'm not surprised."

The Loons held a far more modest 1-0 lead at halftime, when their only goal came off of a one-man sequence in which Hlongwane created a "wow" moment of his own.

He broke into a sprint that stretched nearly three-quarters of the field, before what appeared to be a mis-dribble led him past a Puebla defender en route to a rocketed shot to the far left corner that left Rodríguez all but helpless.

And yet, perhaps the most perplexing aspect of MNUFC's night was the 10 men it fielded for much of the match.

In the 29th minute, defender Michael Boxall picked up a controversial red card — the first of his career — for hitting a Puebla player, officially ruled only after an extended VAR. Unhappy as he and many other fans were in the aftermath, it didn't hold back the Loons from their dominant two-way display.

In support of Reynoso and Hlongwane's offensive efforts, goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair recorded yet another clean sheet with several high-leverage saves, one of which turned away Ángel Robles' long, well-hit shot on goal that would have otherwise tied the game in the first half.

"What do you think?" Heath responded when asked about his emotions postgame. "Pretty good. We played an hour with 10 men. The players were magnificent, really proud of them. The crowd was unbelievable.

"It was a really good night for Minnesota United."