The Portland Timbers kept their road losing streak alive, dropping a 3-1 result to the Houston Dynamo and losing vital ground in the playoff race.
The Dynamo broke the deadlock in 34th minute after a closely fought first half. A mis-placed pass from Alvas Powell across the back line was picked up by the home side deep in the Timbers’ half and sent into the box from near the end line. Jake Gleeson got down to knock the cross away only to see it fall to Collen Warner outside the box. As the Houston midfielder hit a hard shot, center back Liam Ridgewell slide to block the ball, but saw it smack off his arm. Referee Juan Guzman quickly pointed to the spot, giving Houston the penalty.
With Gleeson in goal, Houston forward Mauro Manotas stepped up to the spot for the penalty. After a short run up, Manotas sent Gleeson the wrong way and tucked a simple, side-footed shot just inside the post for the opening goal.
Falling behind seemed to send the Timbers into a spiral as the Dynamo poured on the pressure for the remaining ten minutes of the half, creating a series of chances and keeping the Timbers penned in to their defensive end.
The second half started out on a more positive not for the Timbers as the away side grabbed the equalizer in the 51st minute. After a great through ball played Darren Mattocks in on goal, the Timbers’ winger smacked a shot off the post, narrowly missing out on a goal of his own. The moment was not over, however, as Diego Valeri arrived just in time to get a boot on the rebound, hitting it home through a crowd in front of goal.
The Dynamo would get their lead back in the 73rd minute, however, as a sleepwalking Timbers defense watch Boniek Garcia drive into the box and cut a ball back to Manotas at the penalty spot. Hitting the ball with his first touch, Manotas slotted a quick shot past an off balance Gleeson and inside the near post for the 2-1 lead.
Things got even worse in the 85th minute as the Timbers pressed forward for the equalizer. With room in behind the Portland back line, Manotas was able to connect with a through ball thanks to well timed run and found himself in one on one with Gleeson, slipping a shot under the keeper and extending Houston’s lead to 3-1.
The loss leaves the Timbers in 5th place in the West, awaiting the rest of this evening’s results. They continue their road trip this week with Tuesday’s match against CD Dragon before returning to the states to take on the Colorado Rapids on the road on Saturday.