With Minnesota United down to 10 men and the team's finishing prowess seemingly washed away by Wednesday's storm, Emanuel Reynoso took matters into his own hands Thursday.
The star midfielder, subbed in midway through the second half, received a pass from Kervin Arriaga in the 87th minute. He danced through the right side of the box, dipped left and fired a low line drive past goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
The goal broke the 1-1 deadlock from Wednesday night and propelled the Loons past the Colorado Rapids 2-1 at Allianz Field in the U.S. Open Cup round of 32.
The Loons will host USL League One club Union Omaha on May 24 or 25 in the round of 16.
"Quality goal from Rey, as we know he can do, as only he can do in those moments," said Loons coach Adrian Heath.
"The frustration for me and even some of his teammates is that he's a really good finisher, you know, and he can get himself in those spots," Heath added. "We've said this before. He takes as much satisfaction beating a man, bringing people towards him and then sliding somebody else in to score a goal.
"Now that's all well and good because we know he can do that. I know he can get 10 goals a season in this league as well."
The game was postponed because of severe weather Wednesday night, 17 minutes and 30 seconds into the first half. Each team had managed a goal. Minnesota's Abu Danladi slid to drive home Franco Fragapane's pass, while Nicolas Mezquida guided in a ricocheting set piece for Colorado.
When play resumed Thursday afternoon, it seemed both sides had left all their finishing abilities in the previous evening. The Rapids' best opportunity came in the 33rd minute on a cross from Diego Rubio that sailed wide right off an Anthony Markanich glancing header. Colorado fired three shots on goal Thursday, all saved by goalkeeper Tyler Miller.
Until the 87th minute, Minnesota's luck wasn't much better. Fragapane, who delivered an assist Wednesday, misfired on two chances inside the box on each side of halftime.
"I thought we had too many balls go across the face of the goal without enough people there," Heath said. "I don't know how many times we flashed it across the face of the goal tonight. Go through the first and second half and we must've done it four or five times."
As in their first US Open Cup game against Forward Madison, the Loons started primarily backups. Needing an injection of scoring help, Heath subbed in Reynoso, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Wil Trapp and Robin Lod, who missed Saturday's MLS game with illness, all at once in the 64th minute.
The connection of Reynoso, Lod and Hlongwane created a golden opportunity in the 77th but again couldn't finish.
Six minutes later, Brent Kallman, who started in the center of the Loons' new-look, three-man back line, saw yellow after he trucked Colorado forward Jonathan Lewis. Kallman had already received a yellow card for a bad tackle earlier in the half, and his ensuing sending off left the Loons trying to survive the final minutes down a man.
That was, at least, until Reynoso created magic.
After weathering a three-hour, eight-minute delay the night before that the team filled with soccer tennis and basketball on TV, the ability to break through in the final minutes kept the Loons alive in the U.S. Open Cup.
"It's all them little things adding up," Heath said. "Do you have a breakfast? Do you have a pre-match meal? It's all them little things, but when you win it looks as though you've done a decent job. If we lost, people would've said 'Ah, the preparation was all wrong.' And fortunately, we won the game and everything's good."