VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Minnesota United only has itself to blame for finding themselves without a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs picture with two games left this season.
A Loons own goal charged to defender Michael Boxall contributed to a 2-1 loss to Vancouver at BC Place on Wednesday. It came on the heels of goalkeeper Tyler Miller’s inability to make a save on a free kick for a costly goal in a 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC on Saturday.
The five dropped points sinks Minnesota (12-11-9) from contending for the fourth spot in the West, and the home playoff game that comes with it, to outside the field entirely in eighth place. Vancouver (12-9-11) jumped up to fifth.
Boxall allowed Vancouver forward Brian White to get behind in the 45th minute. Miller got a hand on White’s shot, however, it went off Boxall’s foot and into the net just before halftime.
The Loons continued their season-long inability to finish their scoring chances on Wednesday. It was no more glaring than Adrien Hunou’s rolling shot going off the post in the 62nd minute.
A minute later, White scored his 12th goal of the season when he slid a shot to Miller’s right.
Loons striker Fanendo Adi buried his own rebound to get a goal back in stoppage time.
Just before kickoff, Real Salt Lake got a 90th minute goal from Albert Rusnak for a 2-1 win over Dallas that put RSL ahead of Minnesota with a tiebreaker. L.A. Galaxy lost to Sporting Kansas City, however, to keep at least one club from separating themselves from Minnesota.
The Loons have two games left. First-place Sporting comes to Allianz Field on Sunday and then they go to Southern California on Decision Day on Nov. 8.
In the first half Wednesday, Minnesota had eight shots, but only one on target, containing a season-long theme of being able to get close but misfiring on net.
Vancouver had only three efforts on goal before a long ball to Brian White just before halftime. White got behind Michael Boxall and his shot was tapped by Tyler Miller, but it went off Boxall’s foot and into the back of the net for an own goal.
Manager Adrian Heath went with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation on the road and his only two changes were forced by suspensions. Romain Metanire returned at right back after a red-card suspension, his replacement, Hassani Dotson, moved over to left back to fill in for Chase Gasper, who was out due to yellow-card accumulation.