Minnesota United and Portland Timbers are in the semifinals of the MLS is Back tournament. These two sides defeated San Jose Earthquakes and the NYCFC in their respective clashes this Saturday to advance.
Minnesota United could be the nicest surprise of the entire MLS is Back competition, as they post results no one expected to see. The latest victims were the San Jose Earthquakes, who experienced what is like to face the inspired United.
The final score of the game was 4-1 for Adrian Heath boys, whose blitz in the first half turned out to be the most important part of the match.
Minnesota netted twice in less than a minute to grab a 2-0 lead midway through the first half. At first, Robin Lod scored in the 20th minute following a corner-kick, and one minute later, Jacori Hayes delivered a knockout for the Quakes.
Five minutes into the second half, Magnus Eriksson cut the lead to 2-1, after scoring from a penalty, but that was just a momentarily rise of the Quakes, who allowed a goal six minutes afterward. Luis Amarilla made it 3-1 after a counter-attack.
Marlon Hairston set the final result, in the 86th minute following Hassani Dotson’s cross.
Minnesota will play against Orlando City in the semis next Thursday.
Meanwhile, Portland Timbers came back from behind to eliminate New York City Football Club, 1-3. Once again Timbers’ duo Sebastian Blanco – Diego Valeri did the crucial job for their team, as they scored one goal each.
NYCFC opened the show in the 27th minute through Jesus Medina, who netted from a penalty that was initially made on him.
Blanco leveled the score two minutes before the halftime. It was a wonderful shot that left no hope for New York’s goalie Sean Johnson.
Valeri came off the bench, and scored in the 65th minute, following Jaroslaw Niezgoda’s assist. The Polish international formed excellent chemistry with the duo, and is playing excellent throughout this tournament.
Eventually, Andy Polo sealed the fate of the boys from the Big Apple, once he scored a fantastic goal. He would take a shot left from outside the box, stuffing the ball into the far side of Johnson’s goal.
Portland will play against Philadelphia Union this Wednesday, and compete to reach the finals for the first time since 2018 once they lost to Atlanta United.