Atlanta United defeated Minnesota United 2-1 to win the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night in front of a tournament final record crowd of 35,709 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Behind an own-goal and a game-winner from Pity Martinez, Atlanta won its third major trophy in club history, its second this season and its first Open Cup. With the win, Atlanta qualified for the 2020 Concacaf Champions League.
Atlanta took the lead in the 10th minute through an own goal. Julian Gressel passed to Pity Martinez on the right wing just outside of the box. Martinez then found Leandro Gonzalez Pirez making an overlapping run where he attempted a cross, but it took a deflection off Chase Gasper and spun viciously, falling just underneath the crossbar and over the head of goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Pity Martinez doubled the lead six minutes later. Justin Meram received the ball wide on the left flank with plenty of space. The winger backed down Romain Metanire before cutting towards the end line and sending a cross to the center of the box. Running through the middle of the penalty area, Martinez one-timed a left-footed shot into the roof of the net. It was Martinez’s second goal of the tournament.
Minnesota cut into the deficit two minutes into the second half with a goal from Robin Lod. Kevin Molino sent in a cross from the right side as Lod made a run across the box and redirected the ball off the left post and into the goal.
Josef Martinez appeared to have scored in the 53rd minute after he buried a cross from Meram following a give-and-go on the left side, but Meram was ruled to be offside on the initial pass. Three minutes later, Martinez was again denied by a diving save from Mannone.
Atlanta United was reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Gonzalez Pirez was shown his second yellow card of the match and a subsequent red card. The Atlanta defense was able to see-out the final 16 minutes of play with a valiant defensive effort, weathering nine of Minnesota’s 13 second-half shots.
Shots: 19-9 Minnesota
Shots on Target: 6-4 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 9-6 Minnesota
Fouls committed: 15-9 Minnesota
Clearances: 26-18 Minnesota
Offside: 4-2 Minnesota
Passing Accuracy: 83-80 Minnesota
Atlanta United (15-9-3, 48 points) returns to MLS action Saturday, Aug. 31 in a first-place matchup against Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium (7:30 p.m. EST, FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD