A brace from Emanuel Reynoso helped get Minnesota United's Audi MLS Cup Playoff chase back on track with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy at Allianz Field on 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 make sure of the 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 Galaxy, who are suddenly looking over their shoulders after six games without a win.
Following back-to-back-defeats in his absence, it took just four minutes on Saturday for Reynoso 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 for Minnesota and laid it off for Reynoso, who fizzed a shot into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards.
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 Finaly calmed any nerves inside Allianz Field with a calm finish on 66 minutes after being played through over the top of the Galaxy's high defensive line by Franco Fragapane.