In the 87th minute, Minnesota midfielder Jan Gregus sent in a corner that found Ike Opara's head. The defender's shot appeared to hit the outstretched arm of Portland's Larrys Mabiala. Referee Chris Penso originally did not award a penalty kick, but VAR Jorge Gonzalez indicated to Penso that he should have another look. The penalty was awarded after Video Review and Ethan Finlay finished past Steve Clark to give the Loons a 1-0 lead in the 92nd minute.
"I'm questioning very much what happened at the end. It makes you not understand what exactly a PK is anymore. ... I want to make sure I see consistency and in this case I don't understand," said Savarese after the match.
It was a fairly even match that saw Minnesota jump up to second place in the Western Conference standings, while the Timbers will stay below the playoff line for another week. Loons head coach Adrian Heath voiced his own uncertainty about the call.
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"I thought we would get a dubious penalty in the last minute," Heath said with a wry smile. "I feel for them a little bit because I know we would have been on the receiving end of the penalty, we would have been a little disappointed. We always think [these calls] even themselves out and if they do we actually probably deserve that."