With no Eryk Williamson or Claudio Bravo available for this match, the Timbers lineup looked a little stranger than usual. We saw Renzo Zambrano manning the midfield for the Timbers in this one with Diego Chara. Jeremy Ebobisse also moved to the wing, while Yimmi Chara and Felipe Mora both returned. Diego Valeri started this one on the bench, but came in the second half.
Something that has been a rarity this season is the Timbers winning possession. Well, they did just that to start this one. The Timbers were moving the ball downfield early and often to start the match, using the wings to create some real opportunities. Dairon Asprilla in particular ran around acting like Dairon turned up to 11. Unfortunately, the finishing was not particularly great on Portland’s end.
Dallas started to settle into the game as the match progressed. Dallas hasn’t been great on the road (0-5-0 heading into this one, and now 0-6-0), but they looked in control deeper into the first half. Portland did well to not let them penetrate fully through their back line, but after spending a little too much time these past few matches going with the “bend but don’t break” strategy, it was slightly distressing to Timbers fans.
Throughout the first half, both teams struggled to get shots on goal. Possession eventually tilted towards Dallas’s favor, but they didn’t even record a shot until deep into the first half. But once Dallas got shots, all of them were on goal and very easily could’ve put them on scoreboard. Fortunately for Portland, nothing found the back of the net, leaving the score tied at zero at the half.
The second half was not particularly eventful for either side to start. Dallas created some more anxiety-inducing shots, but couldn’t quite finish. The Timbers created some chances, but rarely were they ever too threatening. Dallas was well-organized and didn’t make it easy for Portland to generate much of anything.
But fortunes changed for the Timbers finally in the 84th minute. As they are wont to do, the Timbers got the ball in the counter-attack around midfield. Jeremy Ebobisse decided to take the ball down himself, taking on a Dallas defender one-on-one. After trying to change directions a few times, he sent a shot into the top shelf of the goal, making it 1-0 Timbers.
After that goal, Dallas started to play at a more frantic pace. They looked like a team desperate for the equalizer (as they should’ve been). Fortunately for Portland, that equalizer would not come. The Timbers won 1-0.
Next up, the Timbers will be home again for their match against LAFC on July 21. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Pacific.