Minnesota United FC stole three points from under the nose of the Portland Timbers with two late goals Saturday evening at Allianz Field, defeating their Western Conference rivals 2-1.
HIGHLIGHTS: Minnesota United FC vs. Portland Timbers | July 24, 2021
With the win, the Loons have two victories against the Timbers during the 2021 season and have gone unbeaten in nine of their last 10 matches, earning 21 points in the process.
The Timbers opened the scoring in the 10th minute when striker Felipe Mora found the back of the net for the second straight game. The Chilean's goal was nearly identical to the game-winner he scored against LAFC in Week 14, where the striker made a darting run into the box to head home from outside the six-yard box.
The Loons' best first-half chance came in the 25th minute when winger Robin Lod was denied by Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic from close range. The away side went into the break with a confident 1-0 lead, but a sold-out Allianz Field didn't seem too thrilled.
The Loons came out of the second half quietly, whereas the Timbers seemed motivated to find a second. Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese eventually brought on a trio of attacking subs in Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco and Jeremy Ebobisse to try and get that elusive insurance goal, but it just wouldn't come.
The Loons took advantage of that, breaking through Portland's defense in the 74th minute. After a failed corner kick by the home side, midfielder Hassani Dotson sent the ball back into the box and fullback Chase Gasper nodded it home, creating some momentum.
Minnesota's newfound motivation put them in attacking mode for the remainder of the match, helping them find a second goal and take the lead in the 85th minute. Lod found the back of the net after Emanuel Reynoso fed him a gorgeous through ball, sending Adrian Heath's team toward three points.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This could go down as one of the biggest wins of the season for Minnesota, especially considering that the Timbers looked to be in charge for the majority of the game. For Portland, it's a disappointing collapse. They had three points within their grasp but lost them late. Both sides are bound to factor into the Western Conference playoff race, so this could have long-term implications as well.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Robin Lod's late strike in the 85th minute secured three points for the Loons.
GOAL: Robin Lod, Minnesota United FC - 85th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Robin Lod. The Finnish winger was Minnesota's best player throughout the entire game and found his fifth goal of the season.