Houston Dynamo FC dropped points to the visiting Portland Timbers in a 2-2 draw. Despite coming out and playing one of the best first halves in a long time, Portland adjusted and made it tough for the Dynamo to get the ball higher up the field. Jeremy Ebobisse’s stoppage time equalizer took the energy out of BBVA Stadium, but was coming.
The opening few minutes were a little sloppy with both sides trying to find their rhythm in the heat and humidity. Adam Lundkvist had a poor challenge on Marvin Loría who had to be checked for a concussion, but he was able to resume play after a brief medical check.
The Dynamo began to increase their possession which helped them get the first real chance of the game. A great ball by Maxi Urruti put Fafà Picault behind the Timbers’ back line. Picault hit a low pass across goal. Timbers goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič may have gotten a finger to it which resulted in Tyler Pasher whiffing on the tap in.
Not long after Pasher’s miss, the Dynamo ramped up their pressure and got the opening goal of the game. Following a corner kick, which went back post to Urruti, he tried his luck from a tough angle. After the ball bounced around a little, it was headed in from close range by Picault.
About ten minutes later the Dynamo nearly added to their tally again coming from a corner. Pasher delivered a great ball that somehow ended up with Urruti back post. After a quick reset, the ball was sent in to Maynor Figueroa who headed the ball striking the woodwork.
In the 33rd minute, Pasher made it 2-0 to the home side. After winning the ball back in Portland’s half, the ball would end up with Matías Vera. Vera got his head up and played in a great pass to Pasher. Pasher’s first touch took him around his defender and he curled a low shot in the corner.
Portland came close to getting a goal back in the 41st minute. Smart, and quick passing saw Eryk Williamson volley a shot first time at goal, but instead of finding the back of the net, it struck the crossbar.
The Timbers continued their push for a goal early into the second half and were successful. Following a Dynamo corner kick, the Timbers counter attacked with a numbers advantage. They passed well moving up the field in a 3v1 and Dairon Asprilla was able to chip Dynamo keeper Marko Marić in what was a textbook counter attack.
The Dynamo wanted a penalty a few minutes later. After Urruti ripped a shot from distance, Timbers’ goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič made the save, but it wasn’t clear from danger. Vera tried to make a play on the ball and stumbled going down. Replays showed Ivačič did not make contact and it was the correct no call by the center official.
As the game ticked on, the game opened up for both sides. Portland began to push higher up after bringing on some of their bigger name players which hurt the Dynamo’s ability to get out of their half at times. Still, the Dynamo were able to find some more chances on the counter with Picault and Pasher leading the way.
The Portland Timbers equalized in stoppage time with the Dynamo unable to clear the ball. Larrys Mabiala sent in a cross to Jeremy Ebobisse who headed the ball into the net.
The final whistle would blow and the two sides would finish with two goals apiece. It’s disappointing that after such a strong first half that they couldn’t get the full three points. Portland adjusted well, got its stars on the field and pushed the Dynamo’s big weakness: pressure in our half.
It’s another short turnaround for the Dynamo as they go back on the road this Saturday to take on Real Salt Lake at 7:00 PM CT.
15’ HOU: Fafà Picault (assisted by Maynor Figueroa)
33’ HOU: Tyler Pasher (assisted by Matías Vera)
50’ POR: Dairon Asprilla (assisted by Claudio Bravo)
90’+1’ POR: Jeremy Ebobisse (assisted by Larrys Mabiala)
38’ POR: Pablo Bonilla (yellow card)
59’ HOU: Fafà Picault (yellow card)
72’ POR: Larrys Mabiala (yellow card)
73’ POR: Sebastián Blanco (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Maynor Figueroa, Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Derrick Jones (88’ Oscar Boniek García), Matías Vera (90’+4’ Memo Rodríguez), Joe Corona (70’ Darwin Cerén), Tyler Pasher (71’ Ariel Lassiter), Maxi Urruti, Fafà Picault (89’ Sam Junqua)
Portland Timbers (5-4-1): Aljaž Ivačič; Claudio Bravo, Bill Tuiloma, Dario Župarić (HT Larrys Mabiala), Zac McGraw, Pablo Bonilla (62’ Josecarlos Van Rankin); Dairon Asprilla (71’ Sebastián Blanco), Renzo Zambrano (71’ Diego Chará), Eryk Williamson, Marvin Loría (HT Diego Valeri); Jeremy Ebobisse