Franco Fragapane's 16th-minute goal was the difference as Minnesota United FC earned an important 1-0 win Saturday evening over Austin FC at Q2 Stadium, ensuring they'll remain above the playoff line after MLS Week 30.

The win put Minnesota at seventh place in the Western Conference standings with just five matches remaining until the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. Austin remain bottom of the table in the West and were officially eliminated from playoff contention after Real Salt Lake defeated Colorado and LA defeated Portland later Saturday evening, as combined with their own loss.

Minnesota opened the scoring just past the quarter-hour mark after Brad Stuver surrendered a dangerous rebound following an Austin turnover. It fell to Hassani Dotson, whose pass to Fragapane was poked past Stuver to make it 1-0.

But Austin, needing at least a draw to keep their faint playoff hopes alive through the weekend, held much of the play after falling behind. They could have leveled in the 78th minute through Cecilio Dominguez, whose strike missed just inches to the right of Tyler Miller's goal. Shouts for an Austin penalty kick after Moussa Djitte appeared to have been knocked over in the box during the buildup ultimately went unheard.

That, coupled with Miller's sliding save in the ninth minute and a key grab in second-half stoppage time – along with a last-gasp missed header from Sebastian Driussi – accounted for just a few of the chances that the hosts should have put home.

Ultimately, Minnesota's goal stood as the only one of the night as they ended a three-match winless streak.

Goals

  • 16' - MIN - Franco Fragapane | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Minnesota had failed to come away with three points in their previous three matches going into this one. But they righted the ship away from home and remain in the Western playoff places, with a chance to push further toward a home postseason match with a home win against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday. Austin's expansion season has reached what seemed like an inevitably: no playoff soccer in Texas' capital city in 2021.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Austin would have made it a 1-0 match less than 10 minutes into the contest. But Tyler Miller was up to the task by erasing an early chance.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Miller was credited with eight saves on the evening, helping anchor Minnesota's defense against an Austin side desperate for goals.

Next Up