Fifty-one seconds. That’s all it took for Minnesota United forward Robin Lod to score in Saturday’s match against Houston Dynamo at Allianz Field.
The perfect start represented the fastest goal in the Loons’ MLS history, surpassing Adrien Hunou’s second-minute goal at Portland on June 26.
Ethan Finlay doubled the lead when his shot took a deflection and barely crossed the line in the 17th minute. The pair of first-half strikes were enough for MNUFC to coast to a 2-0 win.
The Loons have been scoring fast lately. Emanuel Reynoso scored in the fourth minute against L.A. Galaxy last weekend and they went on to a 3-0 win.
Franco Fragapane set up Lod’s goal with a perfectly weighted pass in that opening minute. It was the Argentine’s sixth assist of the season to go with two goals. He was among league leaders with 0.90 goals + assists per 90 minutes and will close the gap on D.C. United’s Ola Kamara (1.52) for top spot.
After Finlay scored his 50th MLS goal, he made a play on the defensive end, with a diving header clearance to deny former Loon Darwin Quintero a prime scoring chance at the back post.
Minnesota (10-8-7) moved out of Houston (5-11-11), which is winless on the road this season (0-8-6)
The Loons stayed with the same starting XI as the Galaxy game, with Lod as a false nine; Fragapane, Reynoso and Finlay as attacking midfielders. Ozzie Alonso and Wil Trapp were the defensive midfielders in front of the back line of Chase Gasper, Bakaye Dibassy, Michael Boxall and Romain Metanire.
Tyler Miller was in net and he made a few second-half saves to preserve the clean sheet.
It was only the second time this season manager Adrian Heath has not been forced nor decided to make a change.
Heath brought out Reynoso in the 60th minute. While Reynoso grabbed for his hamstring in the first half and was stepped on by Tim Parker, Reynoso was unhappy by the sub.
But the Loons have been cautious with Reynoso in training and MNUFC travel to D.C. United on Wednesday and FC Dallas next Saturday.