PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sebastian Blanco scored the go-ahead objective and including an insurance coverage rating and the Portland Timbers eradicated Minnesota United from the MLS playoffs with a 3-1 opening-round victory Sunday.
The fourth-seeded Timbers superior to play the top-seeded Rapids in Colorado on Thanksgiving Day.
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“We really feel aid. However we can not chill out. We congratulate each physique, however now we have to give attention to Colorado,” Blanco stated. “They’ve a really, excellent group at house. Very sturdy. We now have solely 4 days to organize for that sport. So we focus now on the subsequent sport.”
Minnesota goalkeeper Tyler Miller was held out of the match after testing constructive for COVID-19. He introduced his check outcomes on Twitter simply earlier than kickoff.
“Sadly I’ve examined constructive for Covid. Gutted to not be there with the boys in Portland however all the arrogance they’ll get the job completed, and I’ll be again quickly as attainable,” he wrote.
Dayne St. Clair began in Miller’s place.
Larrys Mabiala additionally scored for Portland. Franco Fragapane opened the scoring for Minnesota.
The Timbers set a membership report with 17 wins this season and gained three straight heading into the postseason.
The fifth-seeded Loons wanted a tie or win over the LA Galaxy on Resolution Day to make the playoffs, in the end incomes the spot with a 3-3 draw.
Minnesota gained each video games in opposition to the Timbers this season, extending a seven-match unbeaten streak within the collection. Portland hadn’t crushed the Loons since 2018.
United took the early lead on Fragapane’s left-footed knock into the nook of the web. shot from very shut vary to the underside left nook.
READ MORE: Draw With Galaxy Places Minnesota United In Playoffs
The Timbers pulled even on a header from Mabiala off a nook within the forty third minute. It was his first objective of the season.
Portland took the lead simply moments into the second half when Sebastian Blanco scored from simply contained in the field. Blanco had taken a tough hit on the finish of the opening half and was greedy at his proper aspect following the objective.
Blanco remained within the match and scored his second from distance within the 66th minute.
“I’ve ache however I’m glad,” Blanco stated with a smile after the sport.
Minnesota coach Adrian Heath stated the last-minute absence of Miller wasn’t an element.
“It’s was not superb clearly, and then you definately fear that any individual else, one or two others might be affected. However on the finish of the day, Dayne’s a top quality goalkeeper. I don’t suppose we are able to blame him for something as we speak,” Heath stated.
The sport received chippy within the eighty fifth minute when each side received right into a shoving match. Mabiala and Fragapane have been each proven yellow playing cards, as was Minnesota’s Joseph Rosales.
The Timbers gained the MLS Cup in 2015 and have been runners-up in 2018. It’s the fifth straight season they’ve superior to the postseason.
The Loons have been taking part in within the postseason for the third straight 12 months. They gained their first playoff sport final 12 months within the opening spherical in opposition to Colorado, then beat Sporting KC within the convention semifinals earlier than falling to the Sounders.
“We’ll come again hopefully stronger,” Heath stated about heading into the offseason. “Definitely that is one of the best group we’ve had since I’ve been right here. So if we are able to add to it, which goes to be the target within the offseason, so as to add one or two items with it, make us stronger in sure areas, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
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