Loons steal 1-0 win in Portland on last second goal

Bongi Hlongwane’s goal in the 95th minute gave Minnesota United the full three points at the last possible moment in Portland.

Hlongwane’s right-footed strike from the top of the Timbers’ box barely escaped the fingertips of diving Portland goalie Aljaz Ivacic for a 1-0 win, sealed moments before the referee was set to blow the final whistle.

For a second straight game, Hlongwane scored the Loons only goal.

United goalie Dayne St. Clair made four saves, the last coming on a threatening header just a couple minutes before Hlongwane’s winner.

The Loons’ two-game win streak comes on the heels of a six-game winless streak.

Portland entered the night unbeaten in their last four.

United travels straight to Houston for their Round of Sixteen match in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.

From the Associated Press:

Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored late in stoppage time to give Minnesota United a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.

Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair made four saves in the victory, including a dangerous header from defender Zac McGraw in the 89th minute.

The loss snapped a four-match undefeated run for Portland.

Minnesota midfielder Emanuel Reynoso did not play, although he was cleared by Major League Soccer this week. The two-time All-Star did not report to the team for the start of the season and was suspended by the league.

In a statement released by the team, Reynoso said he remained in his native Argentina because of unspecified family issues. He arrived back in Minnesota in May 6.

“The truth is I went through a very difficult time in my life,” he said in the video statement released Friday.

Reynoso has 16 goals and 28 assists in 71 games for Minnesota since joining the club midway through the 2020 season. Last September, he signed a three-year designated player contract extension with a club option for 2026.

Minnesota (5-5-3) was coming off a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday. The win was costly, however. Midfielder Robin Lod suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee and will undergo surgery on Monday.

The Timbers, who outshot United 20-9, came close in the 66th minute when Evander’s shot hit the crossbar. St. Clair pushed another Evander attempt over the bar in the 73rd minute.

After Hlongwane’s goal moments before the final whistle, Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic pounded the turf. Ivacic also finished with four saves.

The Timbers (4-6-4) played to a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.

Portland’s Diego Chara played in his 377th MLS game, pulling him into third place on the league’s career list ahead of Kyle Beckerman.

Sebastian Blanco, who struggled with injuries last year, made his regular season debut for the Timbers in the 79th minute.