Kevin Molino recorded a brace, Emanuel Reynoso scored a goal, and Dayne St. Clair posted his sixth clean sheet of the season as Minnesota United defeated visiting FC Dallas 3-0 on Sunday in St. Paul, Minn., on Decision Day, clinching a home postseason game on the final day of the truncated and COVID-influenced regular season.
Minnesota nabbed the fourth position in the Western Conference and will host Colorado in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs. The Loons were 4-0-4 in their final eight matches to surge up the standings.
FC Dallas dropped to sixth in the West with the loss, their first in five games, and will play at Portland in the first round.
St. Clair recorded four saves to secure the shutout and his sixth win in 13 career MLS games.
After dominating play in the early part of the match, the Loons finally found the net when Molino booted home an excellent one-touch pass from Reynoso in the 17th minute. The play began with a Dallas turnover at midfield, and with Robin Lod carrying the ball deep into the zone before passing to Reynoso in the middle of the field just outside the box
Dallas nearly found the equalizer in the 21st minute as Michael Barrios got free and tried to softly chip a shot over St. Clair. The shot was deflected by St. Clair but headed toward the net before being cleared away at the last instant via a header by Loons' defender Brent Kallman.
The three players that combined to produce Minnesota United's first goal had a hand in the Loons' second tally, with Reynoso this time finding the net in the 47th minute off a perfect feed from Lod onto his favored left foot and after a pass by Molino.
Molino capped the scoring with his second goal, off assists by Reynoso and Lod, in the 79th minute.
Dallas played without front-line goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, who didn't travel to the Twin Cities as a precaution after sustaining a minor injury on Wednesday in Nashville. That pressed Brazilian goalkeeper Phelipe Megiolaro into the net for his first MLS action, and Minnesota peppered the 21-year old with nine shots.