Sat, Apr

Molino nets sixth of season, but Loons held to draw

T&T’s Kevin Molino and Robin Lod scored for Minnesota United in the first half, but Darwin Quintero and Maynor Figueroa struck back for the Houston Dynamo in the second, forcing the sides to split the points in a 2-2 draw in the US Major League Soccer at BBVA Stadium on Saturday.

Minnesota struck for the opener 11 minutes into the contest after getting loose on the break following a Dynamo giveaway at midfield when Jan Gregus put Molino in on goal, down the left side and the T&T international midfielder lashed home the finish to the far post.

The Dynamo got a chance to equalise just five minutes later, as Minnesota’s Michael Boxall was called for a foul in his own area for bringing down Memo Rodriguez.

But Quintero had his look from the spot denied by Minnesota goalkeeper, Canada-born T&T player Dayne St Clair, who made a kick-save while sprawling out to his left, allowing the Loons to retain the first-half advantage.

Minnesota would then double their lead right on the stroke of halftime courtesy of Lod, who pounced on a rebound and slid home a shot that Houston goalkeeper Marko Maric couldn’t quite keep out of the goal.

Houston pulled one back just before the hour mark after St Clair came off his line to punch away a cross from Zarek Valentin, only to see it land at the feet of Quintero, who alertly lofted a gorgeous chipped ball into the net.

Molino came within inches of a second and his fourth in two matches in the 66th minute, collecting a cross and uncorking a curling distance shot that looked bound for goal, only to see it denied by a diving Maric to keep Houston within a goal.

It would prove consequential as the Dynamo equalised on 69 minutes when Quintero whipped in a free-kick that was saved by St Clair but headed home on the rebound by Figueroa.

Minnesota were put down a man as the match neared second-half stoppage time after Gregus was sent off by referee Victor Rivas on Video Review for swinging his arm at a Houston player. The 10-man Loons managed to see out the match, however, and escape with the point.

Elsewhere, Molino’s close friend Joevin Jones failed to add to his two goals showing from their previous match, but Seattle Sounders still recorded a straightforward 3-0 win over LA FC thanks to Nicolas Lodeiro converting two penalty kicks in the first half and Raul Ruidiaz adding the third.

The three points put Seattle in the top spot in the Western Conference standings, while LAFC continue to struggle with finding consistency (and wins) since the restart.

USA-born midfielder, Nick De Leon, the son of former T&T standout Leroy De Leon played for 82 minutes in Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw with DC United.

DC United’s 17-year-old academy product Griffin Yow scored his first MLS goal, volleying home a dramatic equaliser two minutes from time to help DC United salvage the draw for his team.