Things in Houston were hot before the whistle even blew to start the game. At a steamy 99 degrees outside, the high heat threatened to delay the start of the game but official readings came in under 92 degrees and things got underway on time.
Darlington Nagbe started things off hot as he immediately forced Tyler Deric in to action. Nagbe took a shot from distance forcing Deric to get a hand on the ball and push it away from the net.
Houston followed it up with a great run from Alex heading the other way down the field. Alex lost the ball but it was picked up by Andrew Wenger. He served the ball into Cubo Torres but Torres somehow totally missed the ball and a good scoring opportunity.
In the 13th minute, Zarek Valentin crossed the ball into the box to Diego Valeri. The midfielder took one touch, moving around a sliding Leonardo, and then shot the ball over Deric. The ball hit the under side of the cross bar and went into the net to give the Timbers a 0-1 lead.
As the first half wore on the heat started to wear on the players particularly the ones in green jerseys. The Dynamo started to find their way into the Timbers final third. As the Dynamo started to take chances in front of the net Jake Gleeson slapped away a ball from the Dynamo. Mauro Manotas got back to the ball and hit it to goal giving Houston a goal and leveling the game at 1-1 in the 37th minute.
The Timbers retook the lead just six minutes later. Sebastian Blanco passed a through ball to Valeri past two Dynamo defenders. After the pass Blanco made a central run positioning himself for Valeri to cross him the ball. Blanco’s shot went past a diving Deric and into the net for the 1-2 lead.
It looked like Portland scored another goal in the 55th minute, but it was controversially ruled offside. Deric came out to make a stop but Adi got behind him and past the Dynamo defense with the ball. With an empty net he buried the ball in the back of the net seemingly extending the Timber lead. However, the assistant referee ruled that he was offside. While the replay showed that he was in fact onside with no VAR in place the offside call stood.
Second half sub Memo Rodriguez took a free kick for the Dynamo in the 81st minute of the game. His shot was a perfect curler that went right to Cabezas. The midfielder got a head on the ball heading it down. It bounced up and past Gleeson for a huge goal that leveled the game up, 2-2.
Alberth Elis almost gave the Dynamo the lead in stoppage time. On another beautiful free kick served up by Rodriguez it was Elis who got his head on the ball but he was just wide of his target. It was the last real chance of the game as the final whistle blew with a scoreline of 2-2 Houston stayed undefeated at home.
Houston was lucky to preserve their unbeaten record as the Timbers were the stronger team on the night. In what is typical Dynamo fashion, they lost the possession battle 45.7% to the Timbers 54.3%. Both teams finished with 16 shots, but Houston had six on target to the Timbers five.
Houston are on the road next weekend taking on Real Salt Lake
59' SUB: Memo Rodriguez replaces Ricardo Clark. #HOUvPOR— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) July 30, 2017
62' SUB: Romell Quioto on for Erick Torres. Still trailing 1-2. #HOUvPOR— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) July 30, 2017