Melvin Tarley opened the scoring and then squelched any hopes of a comeback by the St. Louis Lions, as the Thunder beat the PDL side 4-1 in Blaine, Minn.
With the Thunder up 2-0 after Ricardo Sanchez’s 57th minute goal, Tommy Heinemann got the Lions on the board and sliced the lead to 2-1 in the 79th minute. But a minute later, the lead was back to two thanks to Tarley, who scored his seventh and eighth career Open Cup goals. The Liberian striker scored six goals in the 2005 tournament, tying him for the top total in the competition. Six goals also ties him for the most goals scored in a single tournament during the Professional Era (1995-present).
Dayton O’Brien set up Tarley’s second goal, then set up Aaron Paye for an insurance goal in the 89th minute as Minnesota earns a Second Round game against the Cleveland City Stars of the USL Second Division.
Minnesota: Platter; Kallman, Taylor, Arango, Friedland; Greenfield, Barron (O’Brien, Dan 83), Sanchez (Gibson 74), deRoux (O’Brien, Dayton 78); Gonzalez (Paye 79), Tarley.
St. Louis: Sailor; Gelven, Mueller, Merrick, Gregory (Dyson 70); Angus, Clayes, Patterson, Speiss (Plow 76); Holmes, Heinemann.
MIN: Tarley 45 (deRoux)
MIN: Sanchez 57 (Kallman)
STL: Heinemann 79 (Patterson)
MIN: Tarley 80 (O’Brien, Dayton)
MIN: Paye 89 (O’Brien, Dayton)
Minnesota: Shots 15, Fouls 5, Offside 5, Corners 6.
St. Louis: Shots 7, Fouls 3, Offside 2, Corners 7.
Platter (Minnesota): Shots faced 3, Saves 2, Goals allowed 1.
Sailor (St. Louis): Shots faced 7, Saves 3, Goals allowed 4.
STL: Gelvin 45
STL: Merrick 45
STL: Heinemann 70
MIN: O’Brien, Dan 88