First-half goals from Robin Lod and Ethan Finlay fueled Minnesota United FC to a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo FC at Allianz Field on Saturday evening, continuing their quest for an all-important top-four spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Finnish international scored the Loons' fastest-ever goal in MLS, netting 51 seconds into the match. Minnesota's dominant performance produced their second straight home win and continued their Audi MLS Cup Playoffs climb. As for Houston, their three-game unbeaten streak ended and faint postseason hopes continued to flicker in the distance.

Lod scored his seventh goal of the season and started his second straight game up top for the Loons as their lone striker. Emanuel Reynoso found his Argentine compatriot, Franco Fragapane, who sent a delicious near-post through ball to Lod for a tidy finish across the net.

Finlay then doubled their lead in the 17th minute after looping the ball over Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Nelson, who got a hand on the ball but couldn't keep it out. The Loons' winger nearly earned a second goal late on, knocking a volley off the post in the 75th minute.

The Dynamo struggled to get much going, with Minnesota earning their ninth shutout of the season. Their best attempt came in the 80th minute when Fafa Picault tested Tyler Miller from close range, but MNUFC's goalkeeper palmed the attempt way to preserve the clean sheet. Miller made eight saves total.

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Goals

  • 1' - MIN - Robin Lod | WATCH
  • 17' - MIN - Ethan Finlay | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Minnesota look like a legit Western Conference contender when the likes of Lod, Fragapane, Reynoso and Finlay are all healthy. The Dynamo's three-match unbeaten streak ended and Tab Ramos will be upset at his side conceding two relatively early goals. The Loons have now earned nine points in three matches against Houston this season, scoring six goals and boasting two clean sheets in the process.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Robin Lod's opening goal, 51 seconds in, set the tone for the entire match.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Ethan Finlay. Minnesota's winger scored the dagger and nearly added a third with a stunning volley.

Up Next

  • MIN: Wednesday, September 29 at DC United | 8:00 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • HOU: Wednesday, September 29 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | 9:00 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

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