Dayne St. Clair made seven saves for his fifth shutout of the season to help lead Minnesota United into the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season with a 2-0 Decision Day victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday afternoon in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Franco Fragapane and Jonathan Gonzalez scored goals for the Loons (14-14-6, 48 points), who snapped a six-match winless streak. Minnesota United finished in sixth place in the Western Conference and will travel to third-place FC Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Oct. 15.
- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)
Thomas Hasal made three saves for Vancouver (12-15-7, 43 points), which had a three-game win streak snapped. The Whitecaps, who finished just 2-11-4 on the road, missed the playoffs with a ninth-place finish.
Vancouver, trying for its first road victory since June 18, started strong by forcing St. Clair to make three saves in the first six minutes. He stopped back-to-back attempts by Adrian Cubas on a header and Julian Gressel on a right-footed shot near the right edge of the 6-yard box.
Fragapane then gave the Loons a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute with his seventh goal of the season. Fragapane took a pass from Emanuel Reynoso on the left wing and dribbled to above the center of the box, where he fired a right-footed shot past a diving Hasal inside the left post.
Minnesota nearly made it 2-0 in the 27th minute but defender D.J. Taylor's right-footed shot from above the right corner of the box sailed just wide of the left post.
The Whitecaps had a chance to tie it in the 57th minute when midfielder Pedro Vite broke in free on the right side, but St. Clair stopped his right-footed attempt from the middle of the box.
Fragapane set up Robin Lod in the 70th minute in the middle of the box, but Lod's straight-on shot sailed over the crossbar.
Gonzalez then made it 2-0 in the 77th minute with his first MLS goal when he fired a left-footed shot off Joseph Rosales' cross into the right corner of the net.
St. Clair came up with another big save in the 81st minute on a curving left-footed free kick by Ryan Gauld outside the box, deflecting the shot with his fingertips as it headed for the top right corner of the goal.