Portland uses a lot of energy in the first half to get the early goal but can't come up with it. The second half was a war of attrition as the humidity seemed to play havoc on the Timbers but they eke out the draw because of a monster night from Troy Perkins. Another 0-0 draw.
Portland came out with the almost the same line-up as the Columbus game except for Steven Smith got the start over Mike Chabala. As with the Columbus game Portland started out strong defensively and limited Houston's attack and their ability to use Brad Davis as their creator. This was due to the pressure applied by Captain Jack Jewsbury and Franck Songo'o on Davis.
Even with Portland showing well defensively there were the usually half chances in the first 20 minutes of the game until Portland seemed to settle into a better possession game. Despite the possession Portland still failed to create any legitimate chance as the final ball was just never good enough, which is really getting written way too much lately.
The rest of the half played out the same way as the Houston Dynamo were exhibiting Portland Timber like traits. Meaing they would gain possession and get the ball all the way to the final third but the quality dropped off sharply after it go there. Both teams went into the locker room with big goose eggs on the scoreboard.
This was the half with all the action but sadly almost all of it was generated by the Dynamo. Portland did start strong and had their opportunities to get the winning goal but the final ball always stuck to the foot of the attacking player and Portland never made Tally Hall work for the save.
Portland had two great opportunities to score and they came in the 47th minute and the 69th minute. In the earlier chance Darlington Nagbe and Diego Chara combined beautifully in the center of the pitch to beat 5 Dynamo defenders. Chara then played a ball through to Rodney Wallace who had Boyd and only a Dynamo Defender in front of him. Instead of playing it to the goal scorer Wallace took a touch, slowing down because the touch was soft, and tried for a shot but was blocked due to the bad touch.
The later chance was another golden opportunity. Lovel Palmer won a 50/50 ball at the half line and got the ball to Chara. Chara hit an early ball to Sal Zizzo who then played the ball back to Chabala. After a few more passes the ball again found Zizzo on the wing with Davis closing on him. Zizzo turned on the jets to blow by Davis near the end line and hit a great ball back to Nagbe, but the ball got stuck at his feet. That caused him to take two touches before getting a shot off. Needless to say the shot was blocked.
Oh, I forgot to mention the ball was blocked in the same manner Steven Smith blocked the shot in Montreal, which was called handball. It hit a leg and then bounced up to hit a arm...... No PK called this time, apparently this ref knew how to ref.
From that point on in the game it was all Houston as they continued to gain momentum and it felt like they were going to score. Portland had used all three of their subs and with 10 minutes to go Futty Danso looked to have pulled a hamstring. With no subs left he was force to stay on and tough it out.
Houston's best chance in the game came from a turnover by Eric Alexander in the 87th minute. Instead of playing a safe ball to clear it out of Portland's half he elected to try and beat his defender by dribbling. Alexander coughed up the ball, and Calen Carr was played through for a 1 on 1 with Troy Perkins. Perkins was huge as he came out early to challenge Carr and easily saved the shot.
After the save Houston kept throwing numbers forward but Portland's defense and Perkins continued to come up big as they saw out the game for a point on the road.
- When the other team doesn't score for 3 out of 4 games that is a good thing.
- Perkins was MOTM, came up huge to ensure a point on the road
- Why did it seem like we were the team playing our 3rd game in 11 days?
- Nagbe needs to play CAM and Fucito needs to move up top with Boyd.
- A point on the road is a good thing -- not great but good.
- Defense looked solid until Futty got injured; if it continues Portland will have opportunities to win games.
- Three games out of 4 Portland has handled the last 10 minutes of the game and not given up goals.