Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath and his Houston counterpart, Ben Olsen, commiserated at halftime Tuesday about officiating they felt wasn't on point.
"We were both shaking our heads," said Heath, adding, "It's not too often you have coaches talk at halftime" agreeing on officiating performances.
The turning point in Houston's 4-0 victory in the U.S. Open Cup competition, Heath said, came as Loons midfielder Kervin Arriaga drew his second yellow card in the 38th minute and was ejected. Minnesota was down to 10 men for the remainder of the game.
On his first yellow card, Arriaga got in the official's face. That display, Heath said, might have hurt him on the second foul.
"Kervin was harshly dealt with," Heath said during a video call with the media afterward. "I thought we were the better team before he was sent off."
But Heath's disappointment went beyond the officials. United, playing its third game in six days, gave lesser-used players either starting nods or roles off the bench Tuesday. Heath wasn't impressed with their collective effort.
"The people who came on the field didn't do enough," he said.
Houston which lost 1-0 in a Major League Soccer matchup just six days earlier at Minnesota, took a one-goal lead in the Round of 16 rematch. Corey Baird's penalty kick goal in the 34th minute led to an eventual hat trick.
Minnesota's unceremonious end in the Open Cup started with promise. Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who had scored four goals in United's previous four games, found himself on the doorstep with the ball in the 25th minute.
Undeterred, Andrew Tarbell, the Dynamo's backup goalkeeper, turned away Hlongwane and prevented an early Houston deficit. Minnesota averages less than one goal per game in league play but had buried three goals apiece in its first two Open Cup games.
Minnesota jumps back into league play Saturday night against Real Salt Lake at Allianz Field.
The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.