— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 15, 2018
Minnesota’s starting lineup welcomed back Jerry Thiesson after the Swiss full back missed the last two games with an injury. Thiesson replaced Tyrone Mears on the right side of the defense; that was the only change made in the defense as Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, and Marc Burch filled out the back line ahead of goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Ibson and Rasmus Schüller continued their partnership ahead of the defense. Ethan Finlay and Miguel Ibarra took their places on the right and left wings respectively. Minnesota’s first-ever Designated Player Darwin Quintero made his way into the starting lineup for the first time at the number 10 spot right behind Christian Ramirez.
Bobby Shuttleworth, Brent Kallman, Carter Manley, Collin Martin, Sam Nicholson, Abu Danladi, and Mason Toye rounded out the matchday 18 for the Loons.
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) April 15, 2018
Playing its first home game this season, the Portland Timbers made only one change from last week’s match away at Orlando. Fanendo Adi replaced Samuel Armenteros up top. Kiwi goalkeeper Jake Gleeson took his place in goal behind Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, and Zarek Valentin. Andy Polo, Cristhian Paredes, and Diego Chara filled out the midfield. Sebastián Blanco and Diego Valeri completed the attack behind Adi. Former Minnesota Thunder player Lawrence Olum was named to the bench.
Providence Park opened for the first time this season as Minnesota kicked off to start the game.
Minnesota took the game to Portland early on, leaving the Loons open to counter attacks. Part of that pressure was Ibson finding a streaking Finlay with a threaded through ball. Only a last-second tackle by a Portland defender drove the ball out of bounds for a Minnesota corner.
In the twelfth minute, Portland lofted a long ball down the field to Adi. Calvo went up to clear and volleyed the ball straight into Adi’s face. He was down momentarily and was looked at by the Portland physios. He would continue the match.
In the 20th minute, Alvas Powell started a mazy run easily past Burch and twisted Calvo around in the box. Powell then powered the ball past Lampson into the near post. With the goal came a newfound confidence from Portland.
in the 22nd minute, Powell gathered the ball on the right-hand side; the following cross deflected off Ibarra freezing Lampson in place. Valeri beat Calvo to the ball and doubled the Timbers’ lead.
Minnesota was visibly shaken by the quick deficit. A turnover in midfield led to Adi being one on one with Boxall. Adi took one touch and fired but this time Lampson was up to the challenge, making a diving save to his near post.
In the 24th minute, the Loons broke out of their stupor. Thiesson played the ball to Finlay who found Quintero in the box. Quintero one-touched the ball to Thiesson who had continued his run. Thiesson crossed the ball to Ibarra who scored. Both teams were getting ready for the resulting kickoff until head referee Juan Carlos Rivero called for VAR. Ibarra was deemed to be offside and Portland was given a free kick.
In the 30th minute Blanco blasted a shot from just outside the box and off the crossbar. Adi shoved Calvo to the ground while fighting for the rebound and Minnesota was given a free kick.
Schüller received the first yellow card in the 34th minute as he took down Chara with a sliding challenge to stop a Portland counter attack. Just four minutes later, Burch received the second yellow card of the game for a late tackle on Adi.
Ibarra had the ball on the net again, latching on to a Burch cross, but Gleeson was equal to the challenge and the ball was sent out for a Loons corner. The corner was corralled by Portland and they immediately launched a counter attack. The ball was eventually cleared by the Loons, but not before Blanco collided with Boxall in the box. Blanco would spend some time injured on the ground. Boxall was fine.
After four minutes of stoppage time, the teams headed into their respective locker rooms. Both managers would have very different things to say during their halftime talks. Minnesota did not play terribly but when it controlled the ball it was one pass or one touch or one inch away from really challenging Gleeson in net. Ibarra put in a good shift in the first half and was barely offside on what would have been his first goal of the season.
Portland, however, looked very dangerous, attacking after their first goal. If not for a diving save by Lampson and a regulation-size net, the Timbers could have three or four goals. The Timbers’ game plan was clearly to attack Burch’s side and most chances including the two goals came from that side.
Minnesota made one change at halftime, bringing on rookie Carter Manley for Burch. Manley moved to the right side of the defense while Thiesson switched to the left side.
Minnesota started again on the front foot as a ball from Quintero found Finlay in the box. Unfortunately, Finlay skied the chance into the stands.
Ibson found Quintero on the left side of the Portland box. The diminutive Colombian beat the Portland defender with ease and lofted a ball to a wide-open Ramirez at the far post. Somehow the ball missed Ramirez entirely, going out for a Portland goal kick.
Continuing their pressure, Thiesson sent a cross in that twisted the Portland defense around. A Portland defender ran into Gleeson and the ball popped up to Quintero. The Colombian attacker was in an awkward position but contorted his body to attempt a bicycle kick but the ball fell on the wrong side of the post.
Quintero and Ramirez combined again for a dangerous chance. Quintero lobbed in Ramirez into the box on the left side. Even at the awkward angle, Ramirez forced Gleeson to make an acrobatic save.
In the 64th minute, Manley played the ball to Quintero on the edge of the box. With one spin move El Cientifico was off to the races, with a deft finish he placed the ball into the far corner of the net. In his first game, Quintero showed why he should be the first DP in Loons history.
Hit 'em with finesse
Kill 'em with success pic.twitter.com/BdsVmJXsHy
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 15, 2018
The two-goal lead was restored by Portland after a turnover by Schüller. Blanco crossed to the far post to Valeri. Valeri played the ball to Paredes at the top of the box, his shot was deflected in by Adi who had nestled himself between Manley and Calvo.
After the goal there were substitutions from both sides, Abu Danladi came in for Ramirez, and Andrés Flores came in for Polo.
Adi thought he had scored his second in the 77th minute: the ball pinballed off Valeri and Boxall to Adi’s feet. He slotted the ball cleanly past Lampson. The goal was reviewed by VAR, and Adi was just offside as the ball bounced off of Valeri’s shin.
In the 80th minute, Quintero once again created for the Loons. A long, lofted ball from the midfield line fell in the box. Although he was aiming for Danladi, he found Tuiloma who put the ball into his own net. A few minutes later Heath would make his last sub of the night, bringing off Ibarra and replacing him with Nicholson.
The Loons kept the pressure on with Quintero just getting just under a Thiesson cross. The ball popped high in the air and Portland was able to clear. All the pressure would cause Gio Savarese to make a defensive substitute, as defender Marco Farfan came on for Sebastián Blanco.
While Minnesota was trying to counter attack, Chara fouled Ibson and earned a yellow card. Chara was then shoved by Boxall who was trying to get the ball from Chara. Boxall would also receive a yellow card. After the fracas, Savarese made his final change subbing Valeri off for Armenteros. After a dull four minutes of stoppage time, the game came to an end with the home team collecting their first three points of the season.
20′ – GOAL (POR) – Alvas Powell
23 – GOAL (POR) – Diego Valeri
34′ – YC (MIN) – Rasmus Schuller
39′ – YC (MIN) – Marc Burch
64′ – GOAL (MIN) – Darwin Quintero
74′ – GOAL (POR) – Fanendo Adi
81′ – GOAL (MIN) – Bill Poni Tuiloma (OG)
86′ - YC (MIN) – Ibson
90+2′ – YC (POR) – Diego Chara
90+2′ – YC (MIN) – Michael Boxall
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