Ethan Finlay's successful penalty kick, off a VAR reversal, in the second minute of second-half stoppage time gave Minnesota United a 1-0 victory over the visiting Portland Timbers on Sunday in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Running its unbeaten streak in league play to seven games, Minnesota (38 points) prevailed after a handball by Portland defender Larrys Mabiala. That was not the initial call, but video review was brought into the mix and United was awarded the spot kick.
Finlay scored his fourth goal of the season by sending his strike into the left corner of the net, past diving Timbers keeper Steve Clark. Minnesota improved to 7-1-4 at home in league play despite being without leading scorer Darwin Quintero (seven goals) because of yellow-card accumulation.
The setback for the Timbers (31 points) snapped their six-game unbeaten stretch in league play.
Portland got the first major chance of the game in the third minute, when Brian Fernandez forced a turnover and delivered the ball to midfielder Sebastian Blanco. Blanco missed wide from inside the box and also hurt his ankle on the play, but remained in the match.
Ibarra missed well high off a back-heeled pass from Rodriguez in the 54th minute. United continued to put various levels of pressure on Clark, but was not rewarded.
The Timbers nearly ended the deadlock when Fernandez's laser strike hit the post in the 79th minute. Another Fernandez header from 16 yards out was tipped over the bar by Mannone.
Minnesota sub Mason Toye just missed on a sliding attempt in the 85th, before the hosts were ultimately saved by the handball.
These teams meet again Wednesday night in Saint Paul, but this time in U.S. Open Cup play.