The Portland Timbers advance to the semifinals of the Conference after a 3-1 triumph over Minnesota United
The Portland Timbers qualified for the Western Conference Semifinals after overcoming an early concession to defeat Minnesota United 3-1 at Providence Park on Sunday night. The victory secured the Timbers a Thanksgiving game against the Colorado Rapids.
Minnesota striker Franco Fragapane opened the scoring in the 11th minute and set the pace for the rest of the match. The team’s speed did not last long, which inspired the Timbers to throw themselves into the attack.
Larry Mabiala pulled back for Portland and equalized after 43 minutes. The midfielder shot high to reach a short corner by Claudio Bravo and nodded past Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair to find the meshes.
Timbers did not let the break stop his rhythm, which inspired Sebastian Blanco to make the green light shortly after kick-off. The Argentine player found a loose ball and positioned himself to hit the unstoppable shot inside the far post.
Blanco then secured the lead with a second goal, the team’s third, in the 66th minute, and pulled the ball past a diving St. Clair.
Things warmed up before the final whistle with a fierce exchange after a hard foul by Fragapane on Timber’s Diego Chara. Mabiala came to Chara’s defense and got players on both sides to push and push. Eight yellow cards were handed out throughout the game, six of which went to Minnesota.
The Timbers ended the match by beating their opponents 17-8. Although Minnesota ended the 2021 campaign one place lower than its playoff opponent, they simply could not match.
Portland finished the Premier League in 2021 in fourth place in the Western Conference table with 55 points and a record of 17-4-13. They advance to the next round against conference leaders Colorado Rapids, who finished 2021 with 61 points and a record of 17-10-7.