The Portland Timbers wrapped up their June matches with a 2:1 victory over the Houston Dynamo this Wednesday night. This is the first time the Timbers have won consecutive games at home this season. Portland went 2-0-1 in June and are now 4-2-3 at home.
The last time these two teams met, Houston was able to create a few high quality chances very early in the match. This time around, Portland looked to flip that script. The Timbers were able to amass three shots and one corner kick in the first six minutes of the game.
After that, the match became more physical. The first half had six yellow cards in total, split evenly between the two teams. By the end of the match, ten cards in total had been handed out. For the Dynamo, the physical play was working in Houston’s favor. After 27 minutes, Houston had out shot Portland 6:3 and they had three more corner kicks than the Timbers.
The Turning point of the match came in the 32nd minute. Dynamo defenseman Daniel Steres was called on a foul inside the box, awarding the Timbers with a penalty shot. Santiago Moreno would take the kick, and rip the ball past the goalie’s right side to earn the first goal of the game. Two minutes later, Moreno would score again from the top of the box thanks to a combination of passes in close quarters. This was Moreno’s first brace as a Portland Timber, and his third goal of the year.
The second half of the game was all about the Timber’s defense. The Dynamo dominated the time of possession category. In the first 15 minutes of the half, Portland had only generated one offensive possession. One of the best chances Houston had to score was in the 59th minute. Darwin Quintero’s free kick found its way to Thorleifur Ulfarsson, who was unable to beat Timbers goaltender Aljaz Ivacic.
The Dynamo’s offense however, would not be denied. In the 65th minute, Quintero would find an opportunity to strike from a distance. His shot from well outside the box would float over Ivacic’s outstretched arm, and dip underneath the crossbar to cut Portland’s lead in half. To make matters worse for the Timbers, Bill Tuiloma earned a red card (2nd yellow) in the 75th minute. At that time, Portland had been out shot 20:9, and would now have to continue play a man down.
However, the Timbers defense came in clutch. In the last 15 minutes of regulation, plus the 5 minutes of added stoppage time, the Houston Dynamo were held to 4 shots. The Timbers would hold on to win 2:1 over the Dynamo.
Portland’s next game is on the road. They play this Sunday, July 3rd, against the Nashville SC.