HOUSTON - AUGUST 14: Forward Brian Ching #25 of the Houston Dynamo celebrates his goal in the first half against the Portland Timbers reacts at Robertson Stadium on August 14, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Dynamo needed three points on Sunday night and thanks to first half goals from Brian Ching and Adam Moffat, they got just that, defeating the Portland Timbers 2-1. It wasn't a dominating performance and if not for a massive late save by Tally Hall on a point blank shot from Kenny Cooper, it could have been another instance of dropped points at home...but it wasn't.
Portland attacked right out of the locker room, putting immediate pressure on the Dynamo putting three shots on goal in the opening seven minutes. Houston weathered the early storm and in the 17th minute, Adam Moffat launched a rocket from nearly 40 yards out that beat Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
The goal turned the tables on pressure as the Dynamo controlled possession for the remainder of the half, but they weren't done scoring.
In the 27th minute, Brad Davis collected a throw-in and quickly found Colin Clark who deftly nutmegged former Dynamo player Lovel Palmer to find a wide open Brian Ching who easily beat Perkins to the far post. Davis was credited with an assist, his MLS leading 11th of the season.
Portland played a much stronger 2nd half with Sal Zizzo and Darlington Nagbe causing fits for the Dynamo defense. In the 56th minute Zizzo sent a nice pass to Nagbe who headed the ball down to Jack Jewsbury in front of goal. The Timbers captain's shot deflected off Andre Hainault and beat Hall to bring Portland within one goal.
Despite two excellent late chances for Kenny Cooper, the Timbers hopes for a comeback were thwarted by Hall and the Dynamo defense as Houston held on for the much needed three points.