Pity Martinez scored a goal and set up an own-goal by Minnesota with a nifty pass, leading shorthanded Atlanta United to another trophy with a 2-1 victory in the final of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night.
Host Atlanta finished the game with 10 players after Leandro Gonzalez Pirez received a red card, holding off Minnesota United’s relentless pressure in the closing minutes.
In a matchup of teams that entered Major League Soccer together as expansion franchises in 2017, Atlanta United celebrated its third title in less than a year. It won the MLS Cup in December, and then added the Campeones Cup with a victory over Mexican champion Club America two weeks ago.
Now, Atlanta has its first title in the 105-year-old U.S. national competition, a victory that gives United a return trip to the CONCACAF Champions League in 2020.
“It’s a good feeling,” goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. “Before the game, we talked again about being a winning club, winning trophies, being a big club. That’s what it’s about.”
• The MLS suspended D.C. United’s Wayne Rooney a second game for a blow to the head and neck of New York Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Casseres Jr. while defending a corner kick last Wednesday.
• A Barcelona official involved in the negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar says the club is “closer” to reaching a deal for the player’s return.
Fowles helps Lynx clinch playoff berth
Sylvia Fowles had a season-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, moving into third on the WNBA career rebounding list, and the host Minnesota Lynx beat the Chicago Sky 93-85 to claim their ninth straight playoff berth.
Fowles has 3,307 career rebounds, passing Lisa Leslie and trailing Tamika Catchings (3,316) and Rebekkah Brunson (3,356).
Chicago guard Courtney Vandersloot also set a league record, breaking her season assists record on an inbounds pass to Diamond DeShields early in the third quarter. Vandersloot had five assists in the first quarter to tie her mark of 258 and she finished the game with 10.
• In other games, Brittney Griner had 29 points and 14 rebounds, Leilani Mitchell added a career-high 29 points and Phoenix won 95-82 at New York. The Mercury’s magic number for clinching a playoff spot was reduced to one. The Liberty were eliminated from postseason contention. … Teaira McCowan had 24 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks to lead the host Indiana Fever past the Las Vegas Aces 86-71. McCowan became the first WNBA rookie with 20-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in back-to-back games. … Aerial Powers scored 20 points and the first-place Washington Mystics beat Los Angeles for their eighth straight home win. … Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double, Courtney Williams scored 17 points and the Connecticut Sun beat the host Seattle Storm 89-70. Connecticut is a game behind first-place Washington. Defending champion Seattle has clinched a spot in the playoffs.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Pity-Martinez-leads-Atlanta-past-Minnesota-2-1-to-14383504.php.