Watch the goals and highlights as the Houston Dynamo beat the Philadelphia Union 3-0 to win the 2018 U.S. Open Cup title.
Either way, one MLS team was going to capture its first U.S. Open Cup title Wednesday night, and it turned out to be the Houston Dynamo's time.
Mauro Manotas scored twice in the opening 26 minutes, and Auston Trusty turned in an own goal in the 66th minute to give Houston a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Open Cup trophy joins the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup trophies in the Dynamo's cabinet, while Philadelphia is left in search of that elusive first piece of silverware.
For the Union, the result is familiar. They had lost twice in the previous four U.S. Open Cup finals, falling in 2014 to the Seattle Sounders in extra time and again in 2015 to Sporting Kansas City in penalties, both times at their home stadium. They hit the road for this one, hoping the third time would be a charm, but it wound up just the same, only in 90 minutes.
A sparce crowd turned out for the start of the match in Houston, but the home side looked for home-field advantage through one of its club legends, as ex-forward Brian Ching carried the trophy out of the tunnel ahead of the match.
The Dynamo enjoyed the first half-chance of the match, with Manotas cutting back a cross for Juan David Cabezas at the top of the box, only for his volley to go wide of the mark.
On the other end, Cory Burke thought he'd opened the scoring for the Union, but an offside call wiped it off the board. That loomed large moments later, when Manotas was free deep inside the Union box and powered in a header from his knees off a cross from Alberth Elis to give the Dynamo a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute.
The Union looked to strike back with and nearly did so off a short corner routine in the 18th minute. Haris Medunjanin touched it to Borek Dockal at the near corner before receiving the return pass and heading toward the top corner of the box. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international curled in a low blast toward the far post, and regardless of whether it was a shot or cross, it forced Joe Willis into making a diving save to punch it to safety.
Again, the Union would be left to rue a missed opportunity a few minutes later. Manotas took a deft touch from Elis and took on Trusty and then Jack Elliott on his way toward the Union box. He unleashed a pinpoint left-footed goal from 20 yards out and tucked it inside the left post in the 26th minute to make it 2-0 Dynamo. The goal was Manotas's competition-leading sixth this year and his 20th in all competitions.
The Union tried to claw their way back but only wound up inflicting more wounds on themselves. Trusty's 66th-minute own goal padded Houston's lead at 3-0, after Cabezas found Romell Quioto open on the left side of the box. Andre Blake made the initial save, but Trusty put his attempted clearance into the back of the net and his head in his own hands after making the hill to climb that much higher.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
The Union continue their march toward a playoff berth Saturday in Columbus vs. the Crew, while the Dynamo stay home to host the San Jose Earthquakes, also on Saturday, in their next match.