ST. PAUL -- Redemption was almost immediate for Darwin Quintero on Wednesday, Aug. 14, and him reestablishing his goal-scoring ways helped Minnesota United set another franchise first.
Four minutes after his penalty kick to the left was denied by Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin, Quintero capitalized on a Kevin Molino pass and beat Irwin with a shot inside the far post in the 39th minute.
The goal helped Minnesota to a 1-0 win over the Rapids at Allianz Field. It was the Loons’ 12th win this season, bettering their 11 wins from 2018 and 10 from 2017. The Loons still have nine games left in MLS play this season.
Quintero’s goal was his team-best eighth of the season, which includes four on PKs. He had the only goal Wednesday, but Minnesota had 27 total shots to Colorado’s 11.
Minnesota (12-8-5) bounced back from a 5-3 road loss to FC Dallas on Saturday that ended its 11-match unbeaten streak, which had started after a 1-0 loss to Colorado on June 8.
Abu Danladi, a second-half sub, nearly doubled the lead in the 78th minute, but his leader skimmed over the crossbar.
The Loons looked to lock down defensively with the sub of defensive midfielder Hassani Dotson for Quintero moments later.
Ike Opara nearly scored in the 84th with a header off a corner kick, but Irwin punched it away. Robin Lod appeared to do so as well but was ruled offside on the ensuing corner kick. Danladi had another shot challenge Irwin minutes later.
The resurgent Rapids (7-13-5), who started the year with an 11-game winless streak, fell to 1-7-3 on the road this season.
Quintero’s PK was set up after Minnesota United defender Chase Gasper was fouled inside the box. It was a break after the Loons were able to find pockets of space and challenge the Rapids’ back line all evening.
After making nine changes for Dallas on Saturday, the Loons returned to their first-choice lineup: forward Angelo Rodriguez; midfielders Quintero, Lod, Molino, Jan Gregus and Ozzie Alonso; defenders Chase Gasper, Opara, Michael Boxall and Romain Metanire; and goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
The Loons will host Orlando City on Saturday in St. Paul.