ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota United have earned their first win of the season, edging the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on Wednesday.
The Loons (1-0-4) broke the scoreless deadlock in the 72nd minute when Ramon Abila sent a header into the bottom right corner of the net.
The 'Caps (2-2-1) put more shots on target than United, but couldn't get a ball past 'keeper Tyler Miller, who had five saves to collect his first clean sheet of the season.
Maxime Crepeau had three saves for Vancouver.
Minnesota came into the game on a four-game losing skid to start the season while the 'Caps were coming off a 2-0 victory over Canadian rivals CF Montreal on Saturday.
It's been a disappointing start to the campaign for a United side that made it to the MLS Western Conference final last year.
Vancouver had a great chance to draw even in the 87th minute off a free kick. The ball landed on the foot of Jake Nerwinski, wide open inside of the box but his shot went wide of the United net.
Abila came off the bench in the 65th minute, replacing midfielder Jan Gergus on the field.
It didn't take the Argentine forward long to make his mark.
Robin Lod sent him a cross in the 72nd minute and Abila nodded a shot in to put United up 1-0.
It was his second goal of the season.
Abila was then given a yellow card for partially removing his jersey to reveal a shirt with an unidentified image underneath.
The 'Caps had some prime opportunities earlier in the second half.
Fullback Ranko Veselinovic sent a header just wide of the post off a corner in the 62nd minute and two minutes later, Dajome blasted a right-footed shot on goal from inside the box, only to see Miller get a hand on it, popping it up and out of play.
Minnesota dominated 61.2 per cent of the possession through the first half and outshot Vancouver 9-5, with the most dangerous strikes coming late.
Lod had a shot from the top of the box easily gobbled up by Crepeau in the 45th minute and the 'Caps keeper made a diving stop on a little flick from Emanuel Reynoso in the 38th.
The Whitecaps had the more dangerous chances in the first half, though, including a free kick in the 30th minute after Micheal Boxall hauled down Dajome at the top of the penalty box.
Lucas Cavallini took the kick and got a shot through the Minnesota wall, but Miller dropped to his knees to make the save.
Cavallini had back-to-back chances earlier in the half, sending a header just wide of the post in the 23rd minute. Moments later, Russell Teibert sent the Canadian striker a long cross into the box and Cavallini's header forced Miller to make a stop at the edge of the net.
Vancouver's first good look of the night came in the fifth minute when Deiber Caicedo stripped United's Chase Gasper of the ball midfield and streaked into Minnesota's end, drawing Miller out of his goal. Caicedo sent the ball to Dajome in the box but the Colombian forward sent a shot up and over the crossbar.
Minnesota United will be back in action on Saturday, hosting FC Dallas. The Whitecaps will visit Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
NOTES: Rightback Bruno Gaspar made his first-ever start for Vancouver. … Miller replaced Canadian 'keeper Dayne St. Clair in the Minnesota net. St. Clair, from Pickering, Ont., has allowed 10 goals in four games this season. … Teibert made his 223rd appearance for the Whitecaps, the 10th most in the club's history.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.
The Canadian Press