The hype leading up to Houston’s first game on the road against the Portland Timbers was pretty big almost too big to live up to. Almost. The two teams combined for 29 shots and a lot of back and forth action early on. While it wound up being a bit of a weird one, a game that included two goals off of handball calls, both teams found time in front of the net but only one team found themselves dominating possession.
Portland quickly starting things off with a chance in front of the net that was quickly answered by Houston taking a chance of their own. But ten minutes into the game DaMarcus Beasley was called for a handball. Beasley jumped up and turned as Blanco got the ball to the box. The defender has his arms pulled into his body but the referee called him for a handball inside the box after the ball went off his elbow. Deigo Valeri took the ensuing penalty kick for the Timbers. Tyler Deric dove to the right as Valeri took his shot but the ball went right down the middle of the net to give the Timbers an early 1-0 lead.
The Timbers would fall victim to a handball call later in the half. In the 37th minute, Cubo Torres took a free kick and the ball went off of Chara’s arm causing referee Allen Chapman to whistle for the handball. Torres took the penalty kick and much like the Timbers’ goal the ball went right down the middle as the goalkeeper dove to his right.
The Dynamo were not content to go into the half level with the Timbers. Alberth Elis passed the ball to Romell Quioto on the break. Quioto got behind the Timbers defense leaving him one on one against Gleeson, but the forward had no trouble getting the ball past the keeper to take the lead 2-1.
The Timbers dominated possession and time around the Dynamo box to start the second half. After multiple near misses they finally found a goal to level the game. Valentin made a cross from deep to Valeri who’s diving header went right past Deric. The Timbers regained the lead a few minutes later. Nagbe made a pass to Guzman just before Guzman got around Deric who came out to try and make the save. AJ DeLaGarza fell back to defend the net but he had no chance at stopping the shot from Guzman. Less then two minutes later the Dynamo nearly gave up a fourth goal but thankfully Leonardo was able to prevent Adi from increasing the Timbers lead.
Adi put the final nail in the coffin in the 88th minute. Deric came all the way out to the top of the box to try to defend but Adi had little problem getting around him and back to the net to make it 4-2 to give the Timbers a clear win.
The Dynamo have struggled with possession this season and in the third came of the season they ran into a team who was able to make them pay for it. The Dynamo managed just 41% possession most of which came in the final 15 minutes of the game as they tried to push for an equalizer only to give up a fourth goal. The Dynamo had 11 shots in the first half but managed just one shot in the second half.
The Dynamo (and their fans) will have a few weeks to feel this loss as they don’t play again until April 1 against the New York Red Bulls.
73' SUBS: Boniek García replaces Ricardo Clark, and Andrew Wenger is in for Alberth Elis. Still 2-3. #PORvHOU— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) March 19, 2017