Match Recap

Timbers fall 1-0 at home after last-minute Minnesota United FC goal

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Clear skies and great spring weather welcomed matchday 14 at Providence Park. A Western Conference showdown with playoff positioning points on the line, it was Timbers and Loons meeting for the first time in 2023.

In their traditional green and gold, Portland set out in search of their 5th match unbeaten, having not lost in MLS since April 22. Meanwhile, Minnesota was searching for a second consecutive victory after going a month and a half without one.

The first half presented a very even match. Both clubs pushed offensively, and had a few dangerous approaches. Franck Boli was active, and had a couple of opportunities that the Loons defense forced into corner kicks. On the opposite end of the field, Aljaz Ivacic kept secure under his posts. In the 28th minute Ivacic put his hand on a Minnesota screamer, earning the Providence Park praise for his effort.

Evander, Santiago Moreno, and Juan David Mosquera put pressure on the right wing. They developed various plays on that side, however the incoming crosses, although dangerous, would not find anyone to connect.

Both clubs wold head to the locker rooms at zero a piece, with everything to play for in the remaining 45 minutes.

For the second half, both squads resumed play with the same 22 participants, picking up where each left off.

The match itself did not change much initially. Timbers and Loons traded advances into each other's final thirds, however defense was the name of the game.

Evander came close on two occasions to netting the opener. He first rattled the Minnesota defense in the 66th minute with a banger from outside the box that ricocheted off the crossbar after beating St. Clair. His second attempt came just seven minutes later in a cheeky attempt to chip the keeper. St. Clair was forced to tap the ball over the crossbar as he peddled backwards into his goal.

With the Loons pushing back and hitting the counters, it was the Timbers iron-man that kept order defensively. Diego Chara constantly terrorized ball-carriers for Minnesota, and his timely interceptions helped keep the Loons off the board throughout the game.

After pushing both offensively and defensively for 90 minutes, heartbreak came in stoppage time. Bongokuhle Hlongwane snuck a last-gasper past Ivacic, stunning Providence Park. With no time remaining, the final whistle brought the game to an end.

A tough loss to process, however the Timbers continue their march in the 2023 season. Next up is a Sunday afternoon showdown with Sporting Kansas City in Kansas on May 28.