Minnesota United score early, blank Dynamo 3-0


Minnesota United bags a pair of goals in 5 minutes

Minnesota United FC gets goals from Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Teemu Pukki in the first half to get by the Houston Dynamo.

Teemu Pukki scored his first Major League Soccer goal and teammate Bongokuhle Hlongwane also tallied in the first half as the Minnesota United unleashed some goal-scoring power in defeating the host Houston Dynamo 3-0 on Wednesday night.

The early goals came in support of goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who secured the shutout with six saves. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi added the third goal with less than three minutes to play in regulation, also his first goal of the year.

Minnesota (7-8-6, 27 points) bounced back from a three-goal defeat to Austin FC on Saturday. Minnesota United have racked up eight goals across their last three games.

Houston (8-10-4, 28 points) had its winless streak stretch to four games. Goalkeeper Steve Clark made one save.

Houston held an overwhelming territorial advantage, launching a total of 24 shots. The Dynamo put only six of those on net.

One of St. Clair's best saves came in the sixth minute of the second half when his dive thwarted an attempt from Artur.

Hlongwane notched his team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 15th minute, and Pukki scored five minutes later.

Just minutes before Hlongwane's goal, Amine Bassi set up a golden chance for the Dynamo with a cross into the box, but Daniel Steres' header missed to the right.

Pukki, a 33-year-old forward from Finland, is in his first MLS season. He was in just his second match -- and his first as a starter.

Pukki took a pass from Emanuel Reynoso, who assisted on his goal, and raced away from midfield for a breakaway.

A second-half substitute, Tajouri-Shradi appeared in his 92nd MLS match, although just his second with Minnesota. He converted on a transition opportunity to help seal the outcome.

Minnesota has won both MLS matches with Houston this season. In between those, the Dynamo secured a U.S. Open Cup triumph versus Minnesota.

--Field Level Media