Seattle Sounders 3, Minnesota United FC 2 | 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Match Recap
The Seattle Sounders are into their fourth MLS Cup in the last five years, beating Minnesota United FC 3-2 Monday night in a Western Conference Final for the ages, rattling off three unanswered goals to complete a remarkable comeback at Lumen Field.
The game-winner came from Gustav Svensson in the 93rd minute, with the Swedish midfielder nodding home a near-post header off a corner kick as stoppage time ticked away. That made it 3-2, capping three goals in 18 minutes from the defending MLS Cup champions.
Raul Ruidiaz equalized in the 89th minute, making it 2-2 when wide open at the back post off a corner kick. Svensson challenged the first service, and then it bounced to Ruidiaz for the calm finish to draw the Sounders level.
After facing a 2-0 deficit, Seattle first found a lifeline in the 75th minute through Will Bruin. The second-half substitute lashed home a second effort after Ruidiaz’s initial effort was blocked, and Bruin reacted first to beat goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair with a crisp finish that made it 2-1.
While Seattle stormed back, the first two-thirds of the game set up another Minnesota upset sparked by Emanuel Reynoso. Reynoso’s effort gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute, with the Argentine No. 10 bending his free kick up and over the wall into the side netting as it evaded Stefan Frei’s outstretched arms. The whole opportunity came after Shane O’Neill supplied a heavy challenge on Ethan Finlay atop the 18-yard box.
Bakaye Dibassy’s header then gave the Loons a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute, with Reynoso picking out the French center back with an in-swinging free kick from the left. Dibassy evaded Nouhou Tolo’s mark in the 18-yard box, then made no mistake with the finish.
The Sounders thought they had an equalizer at 1-1 in the 53rd minute through Ruidiaz, but the goal was overturned by Video Review after it was deemed that the Peruvian forward fouled Minnesota center back Michael Boxall in the buildup.
Seattle also had a Video Review shout in the 81st minute, when Cristian Roldan and Chase Gasper collided on the edge of the penalty area. The call on the field stood, though, so the Sounders weren’t awarded a penalty kick after the collision. Pouring on pressure in the second half, Seattle also came within inches of a goal in the 65th minute. However, Jordan Morris fired his left-footed rocket off the outside of the post.
- 29' – MIN – Emanuel Reynoso | WATCH
- 67' – MIN – Bakaye Dibassy | WATCH
- 75' – SEA – Will Bruin | WATCH
- 89' – SEA – Raul Ruidiaz | WATCH
- 90'+3' – SEA – Gustav Svensson | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Sounders are 90 minutes away from winning their third MLS Cup in the last five years (won in 2016 and 2019). They’ve made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs every year since entering MLS in 2009, and continually find a way when the going gets tough. It almost feels inevitable, and now they'll travel to Columbus for MLS Cup next weekend. For Minnesota, it ends an inspired playoff run as led by Emanuel Reynoso. He had one goal and seven assists during the postseason, with the latter setting an MLS record.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Gustav Svensson’s game-winner in second-half stoppage time capped an incredible surge from Seattle. He hadn’t played yet during the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, then made his presence count.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Raul Ruidiaz attempted a game-high eight shots and found the equalizer in the 89th minute. His would-be goal in the 53rd minute was called back after Video Review, and his persistence resulted in Will Bruin’s goal that began the comeback. Ruidiaz is absolutely clinical in the playoffs.
- SEA: Saturday, Dec. 12 at Columbus Crew SC (8:30 pm ET | FOX, UniMas, TUDN in US; TSN, TVA Sports in Canada) | Audi 2020 MLS Cup Final
- MIN: End of season