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Minnesota United overwhelms FC Cincinnati, 7-1

(Image: Twitter/@fccincinnati)

Minnesota United scored four goals in the first half, three in 12 minutes, to overwhelm undermanned FC Cincinnati 7-1 on Saturday in Saint Paul, Minn.

Ike Opara scored twice to help the Loons (7-7-3) break a three-game losing streak. His goal in the 18th minute for a 1-0 lead was the harbinger of things to come before a sellout crowd of 19,778 at Allianz Field.

Hassani Dotson (23rd minute), Ethan Finlay (30th) and Angelo Rodriguez (43rd) made it 4-0 as the Loons set the third-year team’s record for goals in a first half.

Emmanuel Ledesma scored in the 56th for Cincinnati (3-13-2) before Opara (70th), Mason Toye (75th) and Kevin Molino (87th) made it the biggest margin of victory for Minnesota and the worst defeat for the expansion Cincinnati club.

Thanks to injuries, national team call-ups and a suspensions, Cincinnati dressed only 16 players, two under the maximum, and lost for the 12th time in 13 matches, including six in a row.

Opara put Minnesota ahead early off of a free kick. Jan Gregus whipped the ball to the near post where keeper Spencer Richey flubbed it and allowed the ball to roll to Okara for his second goal of the season.

Dotson made it 2-0 on a screamer from 25 yards when Cincinnati failed to close on him after a 40-yard run on the left side. He has two goals.

Cincinnati’s defense faltered again at the half-hour mark. Defender Nick Hagglund made a mess of a lobbed ball, allowing Rodriguez to gather it and feed Darwin Quintero. His run into the box pulled Richey off the goal and a trailing Finlay took advantage for the pass from Quintero to add his second goal.

Rodriguez extended the lead to 4-0 with his fifth goal.

Gregus had three assists and Quintero two.

Minnesota, which is 4-1-3 in its first-year venue, hosts San Jose on Wednesday. Cincinnati returns home to play Houston on July 6.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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