The Portland Timbers conceded early and fell apart late today as the Houston Dynamo handed them their a 3-1 loss, their fourth of the season. After tying things up following an early Dynamo goal, the Timbers could not hold on in the humid Texas weather and gave up a pair of late goals for the loss.
The Dynamo opened the scoring early on in the 9th minute after Alvas Powell gave up a foul out wide on the left wing, taking down veteran left back Demarcus Beasley with a poorly timed tackle. Brad Davis, freshly returned to the Dyanmo starting XI after missing the last week with a hamstring strain, stepped up and whipped a curling ball into the Timbers' box. With the Timbers' defense scrambling to mark the imposing Dynamo lineup, it was Houston striker Will Bruin who managed to lose his man and get free inside the 18, putting a wide-open header on the ground just to the side of Adam Kwarasey where it skipped underneath the swiping paw of the Timbers' keeper and into the back of the net, putting the Dynamo up 1-0.
From there the Timbers were forced to step up their pressure, getting forward quickly and looking to get back in the game. The increased pressure from the Timbers saw the game turn testy as the Timbers racked up the yellow cards while contesting the ball. Through the end of the first half, despite being out-fouled by the Dynamo 9-6, the Timbers had managed three yellow cards to the Dynamo's one.
Cards were the only to thing to come from the Timbers' pressure in the first half, however, as the team's few chances went wanting. With the Dynamo plugging up the center of the pitch, the Timbers were forced to push the ball out wide and swing in crosses, looking for a headed goal that would not come.
The second half saw things turn around quickly, however, as the Timbers struck back early. After a Diego Chara tackle in the 48' popped the ball loose for Diego Valeri in the center of the pitch, the Maestro played in a ball for Fanendo Adi to run onto. Staying just onside, Adi received the ball deep in the Houston box and fired off a hard shot that skipped off the leg of Tyler Deric and into the back of the Houston net to tie the game up at one apiece.
The shift in momentum would not last, however, as the game opened up and the Dynamo charged back, hitting the Timbers with two quick breaks down the pitch.
First, in the 75th minute, the Dynamo flooded down the pitch, getting men down the field while the Timbers' attackers were still recovering. Passing the ball around the Timbers' box, the Dynamo eventually found Giles Barnes at the penalty spot and Houston's leading scorer coolly knocked home a shot around the scrambling Portland defenders and into the back of the net.
With the Timbers once again in need of a goal to get back in the match, the the Dynamo were able to sit back and look for the counter, with one such opportunity coming in the 82nd minute. As the Timbers committed men forward in search of the equalizer, Houston defender Jermaine Taylor knocked a long ball forward for Bruin to run onto. Although Powell and Nat Borchers were back to deal with the ball, neither could do so and instead Bruin was able to play a simple chip over the head of Kwarasey for the final goal of the match.