Joao Paulo's thunderbolt opened the scoring seven minutes before the break, and Seattle Sounders FC doubled through an own goal shortly after halftime en route to a 2-1 win over Minnesota United FC at Allianz Field on Saturday night.
HIGHLIGHTS: Minnesota United FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC | April 02, 2022
Emanuel Reynoso converted a late penalty drawn by Joseph Rosales' run into the area, which induced a late challenge from Sounders center back Jackson Ragen.
But it wasn't enough to cancel out the error by Minnesota defender Brent Kallman, who redirected Jordan Morris' cross past goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, for Seattle's second on a cross intended for Raul Ruidiaz at the back post.
Ruidiaz played the final 45 minutes in his first regular-season appearance for the Sounders after working back from a hamstring injury sustained in the Round of 16 in the Concacaf Champions League.
The Loons then missed a couple late chances to level. Robin Lod and Rosales had efforts blocked in an 86th-minute flurry inside the penalty area. Luis Amarilla sent his reflexive effort wide of the left post two minutes later. And Stefan Frei easily held Rosales' effort from distance in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Seattle might have one eye toward their Leg 1 CCL semifinal encounter at home, but a second consecutive positive away result should quell some nerves after they began the season with two defeats. Meanwhile, Minnesota have now scored exactly one goal in every game this season. Just maybe Reynoso's first — even if it did come from the spot — will jolt him into something more closely resembling his dynamic 2021 form.
PK GOAL: Emanuel Reynoso, Minnesota United FC - 82nd minute
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Joao Paulo only scores bangers. And to Loons fans, it must also seem like he only scores against Minnesota United. It's the Brazilian's third goal in just four matches against Minnesota since his arrival in MLS. He has three goals in 51 appearances against everyone else.
Joao Paulo scores STUNNER for Seattle Sounders
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Joao Paulo. In addition to his stunner, the Brazilian also had two key passes, won 75% of his 13 duels and drew three fouls in an excellent and well-rounded performance that has characterized his two-plus seasons with the Sounders.
- MIN: Sunday, April 10 at Austin FC | 7:30 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)
- SEA: Wednesday, April 6 vs. New York City FC | 10 pm ET (FS2, TUDN) | Concacaf Champions League Semifinals, Leg 1