A brilliant brace from the returning Emanuel Reynoso helped get Minnesota United FC's Audi MLS Cup Playoffs chase back on track with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy at Allianz Field Saturday night.

Making his first appearance after a three-game absence with injury – during which Minnesota lost twice – Reynoso struck twice from outside the area in the opening 20 minutes, leaving the visiting Galaxy with no answer the rest of the way. Ethan Finlay added an insurance goal in the second half to secure all three points for the jubilant hosts.

With the victory, just the Loons' second in their last seven matches, Minnesota move back above the playoff line in the Western Conference and within four points of the fourth-place Galaxy, who are suddenly looking over their shoulders after six games without a win.

Following back-to-back defeats in his absence, Reynoso needed just four minutes on Saturday to reassert his importance to this Loons team. After a long ball forward was only half-cleared by the LA defense, Robin Lod picked it up and laid it off for Reynoso, who fizzed a shot into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards out.

It was not long before Reynoso doubled his tally on the night and for the season. This time it was an even more spectacular strike, as the former Boca Juniors man was again given space by the Galaxy defense on his magical left foot and unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner past Jonathan Klinsmann.

It took until the 38th minute before an LA Galaxy side that started with Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Jonathan dos Santos and Victor Vazquez on the bench, to get their first effort on target. Minnesota goalkeeper Tyler Miller was equal to it, though, standing up well to deny Dejan Joveljic's lobbed effort. Miller again came off his line smartly to deny the Galaxy early in the second half as they looked to get a goal to change the complexion of the match.

That goal never came, though, and Finlay calmed any nerves inside Allianz Field with a tidy finish on 66 minutes after being played through over the top of the Galaxy's high defensive line by Franco Fragapane.

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Goals

  • 4' — MIN — Emanuel Reynoso | WATCH
  • 20' — MIN — Emanuel Reynoso | WATCH
  • 66' — MIN — Ethan Finlay | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: This was a hugely important win for Minnesota after they had dropped out of the playoff places following a poor run of form. It's no surprise that the victory coincided with not just Reynoso's return to the starting lineup but with Lod also starting for the first time in six matches. With a home game against Houston Dynamo FC coming up next, Minnesota will look to further solidify their playoff position. While there's no reason to panic, there will be some concerns around the LA Galaxy as their rough run of form continues. Chicharito's return to full fitness cannot come soon enough.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It has to be Reynoso's stunning second goal, which effectively sealed the win for Minnesota.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else but Reynoso. While Lod's return was also important and Ozzie Alonso rolled back the years in midfield, Minnesota will go as far as Reynoso takes them this season.

Next Up

  • MIN: Saturday, September 25 vs. Houston Dynamo FC | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+) | MLS regular season
  • LA: Sunday, September 26 at Austin FC | 9:30 pm ET (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes) | MLS regular season

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