2022 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Dairon Asprilla (61')

Aljaz Ivacic shines as Timbers shut out scuffling Loons

Dairon Asprilla nods home header vs. Minnesota United FC (0:56)

Dairon Asprilla nods home header vs. Minnesota United FC (0:56)

Dairon Asprilla scored in the 61st minute and Aljaz Ivacic made five saves as the Portland Timbers extended their winning streak to four games with a 1-0 victory over visiting Minnesota United on Saturday night.

It was the sixth shutout of the season for Ivacic.

The win propelled the Timbers (11-8-12, 45 points) into fifth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Loons (13-12-5, 44 points), who suffered their third straight loss.

Minnesota United dominated the first half despite playing without leading scorer and All-Star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10 goals, nine assists), who sat out with a right ankle injury. They also played without midfielder Franco Fragapane (six goals), who was suspended because of a red card. Still, the Loons outshot the Timbers, 13-2, including 2-0 in shots on goal.

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But Ivacic was up to the challenge. He turned away forward Mender Garcia's left-footed shot from the middle of the box in the 10th minute off a D.J. Taylor cross. He later stopped a right-footed shot by Garcia from the right side of the box seven minutes later.

Portland entered the contest with 35 second-half goals, third most in the MLS. True to form, the Timbers took the lead in the 61st minute on Asprilla's snap-header from the right edge of the six-yard box inside the far post off a Santiago Moreno corner kick.

It was Asprilla's eighth goal of the season and his third in the last five goals. It was also Portland's 23rd set-piece goal of the season.

Minnesota had a chance to tie it in the 65th minute but Ivacic tipped away Wil Trapp's right-footed close-in try. Luis Amarilla then booted a Garcia cross over the crossbar in the 83rd minute.

Ivacic also blocked Robin Lod's sharp-angle shot from the right side of the box in the 85th minute, the Loons' final good scoring chance in the contest.