The new Finnish forward recently moved out of close friend and compatriot Robin Lod’s suburban house. Pukki’s wife and two daughters have joined him in the U.S., and the family said Friday they are expecting a third child.
For Minnesota United, Pukki scored in a second consecutive game Saturday, a 1-1 draw at PayPal Park.
Pukki, who ended a 729-minute scoring drought with a goal Wednesday, appeared to have a second goal Saturday, but he was left smirking when VAR wiped it off due to a handball call on Emanuel Reynoso.
In the 60th minute, Reynoso’s through ball was blasted into the top of the net by Pukki. It was the best finish since Pukki arrived from England in early July.
But referee Alexis da Silva went to video-assisted review, and the verdict was a handball on Reynoso earlier in the build up. Yet the replay showed on Apple TV had it bouncing off Reynoso’s shoulder.
The Loons took an early lead Saturday, but due to poor clearances in its defensive third, it didn’t last.
Reynoso stroked a perfectly weighted diagonal pass for Pukki to calmly bring to his right foot and finish in the fourth minute.
A dozen minutes later, MNUFC midfielder Jan Gregus wasn’t able to fully clear lines — a consistent precursor to goals allowed this season. Cade Cowell then benefited from a wicked deflection and his shot got past Dayne St. Clair.
Besides Pukki’s goal, Hasssani Dotson had the Loons’ best chance of the first half. With a pass from Pukki, Dotson’s shot went straight to goalkeeper Daniel.
Sang Bin Jeong has called into South Korea’s Under-23 national team for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Cup qualification. The Loons will now be without three players on Sept. 9 vs. New England. Pukki (Finland) and Joseph Rosales (Honduras) were called up to their respective senior national teams. … Zarek Valentin started at right back with DJ Taylor suspended for yellow-card accumulation.