The Timbers were on the wrong end of a controversial VAR decision today. The Loones were awarded a penalty kick in the 90th minute after VAR decided that Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala was guilty of a handball in the box. However, after multiple looks it seemed as if it wasn’t “clear and obvious” that the ball came off of Mabiala’s arm. It looked like it came off of his body if anything.
Goalkeeper Steve Clark got two hands on the penalty kick taken by Ethan Finlay, but it was hit with just enough pace to sneak into the side netting and give Minnesota a late 1-0 lead.
Head coach Gio Savarese said after the game “I don’t even know what a penalty is anymore” as he was clearly upset with the call.
The Timbers played well enough to come away with at least one point today. They out possessed Minnesota 57 percent to 43 and created more scoring opportunities than the Loones. The golden opportunity for the Timbers came in the 2nd half when a Brian Fernandez left footed shot sailed past the Minnesota goalkeeper, but hit the post. It was that type of day for Portland as they fall below the playoff line with today’s loss.
Portland has 31 points on the season, as they’re just 2 points back of 7th place FC Dallas. They still have 11 of 12 matches at Providence Park to finish the season. Up next, they take on Minnesota again Wednesday night in US Open Cup semi final action.