ST. LOUIS – St. Louis FC beat Minnesota United FC 2-1 after winning a shootout Wednesday at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The Loons came into their first match of the tournament on a roll, with three NASL victories in a row. They had moved up to second place in the standings with a big home game against the first-place New York Cosmos looming on Saturday.
Now they can concentrate on the Cosmos after being knocked out of U.S. Open Cup by St. Louis FC, a member of the United Soccer League, the third tier of the American soccer pyramid. It had defeated the Des Moines Menace 2-1 in extra time last week in its U.S. Open Cup opener.
This victory was bigger — many of the 2,579 fans rushed the field after the upset.
St. Louis FC made all three penalty kicks it took in the shootout. United? It made one of four. Daniel Mendes’ shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. Ibson shot high. Miguel Ibarra got the Loons their lone extra-session goal, finding the upper right corner. But needing to score, Christian Ramirez, United fourth shooter, hit the right post.
The score was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes of regulation time and three minutes of stoppage time.
After a scoreless first half, the Loons took a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute. Geison Moura took the first shot, which deflected off the bar. Midfielder J.C. Banks put in the rebound.
St. Louis tied the score in the 80th minute on Bryan Gaul’s goal, which beat keeper Mitch Hildebrant.
Next came two 15-minute overtimes. The Loons had a man-advantage in the last couple of minutes of the second overtime when Gaul got a red card and was sent off, but United couldn’t score.
Hildebrant finished with two saves, Mark Pais needed to make none for the home team. St. Louis led 19-10 in shots, and 10-2 in corner kicks.