The Houston Dynamo were coming off a 1-3 loss to the Philadelphia Union earlier this week and were hoping to turn things around when they visited Providence Park to take on the Portland Timbers. Unfortunately, the Dynamo were unsuccessful. Despite a very strong first half, they succumbed to a late goal by the Timbers to lose back-to-back games this week. The second half seemed too measured by Wilmer Cabrera who tried to go for a point on the road and maybe steal a win via the counter attack. The result was Portland controlling the ball for much of the second half inside our part of the field.
With the Dynamo having played so many games without much turnaround time, Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera utilized a more conservative lineup where he played 5 defenders at the back. Tomás Martínez, who was shown a red card against the Union, was also back as the team had successfully appealed the suspension and the red card was rescinded.
While the Dynamo appeared to come out possessing the ball early and they got the ball up the field often, it would be the home side Timbers that got on the scoreboard first. Alvas Powell got free down the left side of the field and sent in a perfectly weighted cross to Sebastián Blanco who easily beat Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis with his first touch.
The Dynamo would get back in the game not long after Blanco’s early goal. Alberth Elis would win the ball in a good spot in the attacking third of the field. He juked his way towards goal and sent in a ball across goal which Romell Quioto tapped into the net. It wasn’t a pretty cross as it was slow, but it was well placed to level the game at a goal each in the 12th minute.
In the 20th minute Portland would come close to getting a second goal, but Joe Willis was there to step up and keep Dairon Asprilla from finding the net. Asprilla received the ball and was 1v1 with Willis, but as he tried to push the ball around the Dynamo keeper, Willis got a hand on it and was able to recover the ball to keep things level. Just a minute later Willis again would keep the game even. Asprilla tried his luck with an overhead bicycle kick, but Willis made a great reaction save and also got the headed effort following his save.
Houston tried to strike back after the 30 minute mark. Tomás Martínez found space on the right side of the field and sent a long cross in to Romell Quioto who headed the ball just wide of the net.
The halftime whistle blew with both teams locked at a goal each. The Dynamo had been good overall as they responded well to the early goal by Portland and had pressured well moving up the field with support from DaMarcus Beasley and Andrew Wenger. Joe Willis also had made some big saves to keep the team in the game which helped quiet a usually thunderous Portland crowd.
The Dynamo came out after halftime with a lot of energy with Tomás Martínez quickly finding Alberth Elis with a beautiful over the top pass. Elis tried his luck against Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, but it was parried away for a corner kick inside the 46th minute.
As the game continued on, Portland pushed its fullbacks up the field more which put more pressure on the Dynamo. Diego Valeri saw more of the ball than he had in the first half as a result with more players committed up the field. This forced the Dynamo to stay further behind the ball than they had in the first half which took away some of the momentum they had built up.
The Portland Timbers would go up a goal in the 80th minute following a sequence with Sebastián Blanco. Blanco got passed his defender and made his way into the 6 yard box where he tried to play a ball across goal. The ball bounced around and eventually fell to Fanendo Adi who put the ball in the back of the net.
After the final whistle the Timbers would get all three points in front of their fans. The Dynamo played a little too conservatively as the second half progressed which put Portland and its fans back in the game.
The Dynamo next play Saturday August 4th when they take on Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium at 8 PM CT.
7’ POR: Sebastián Blanco (assisted by Alvas Powell)
12’ HOU: Romell Quioto (assisted by Alberth Elis)
80’ POR: Fanendo Adi (assisted by Diego Valeri)
9’ POR: Alvas Powell (yellow card)
17’ HOU: Alberth Elis (yellow card)
17’ POR: Dairon Asprilla (yellow card)
26’ HOU: Jared Watts (yellow card)
39’ POR: Sebastián Blanco (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (5-3-2): Joe Willis; DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo, Jared Watts, Adolfo Machado, Andrew Wenger; Eric Alexander, Tomás Martínez (60’ Memo Rodríguez), Oscar Boniek García; Romell Quioto (74’ Luis Gil), Alberth Elis
Portland Timbers (5-3-2): Jeff Attinella; Julio Cascante, Lawrence Olum, Larrys Mabiala, Alvas Powell; Sebastián Blanco, Diego Chara, Andy Polo; Dairon Asprilla (75’ Fanendo Adi), Diego Valeri (90’+1’ Andrés Flores)