The Portland Timbers defeated the Houston Dynamo 2-1 Wednesday night at Providence Park. Santiago Moreno tallied a first half brace, and Darwin Quintero pulled a goal back for the visitors in the second half. Bill Tuiloma was shown a red card in the 75th minute, making for a nervy but ultimately successful end to the game.
The Timbers weathered the storm of physical play from the Dynamo in the first half, and then changed the game as Yimmi Chara earned a penalty in the 32nd minute. Santiago Moreno, the fourth Timbers player to take a spot kick this season, confidently drilled his kick into the side netting past Portland’s former goalkeeper, Steve Clark.
Moreno followed up his spot kick and scored a second goal barely ninety seconds after the first, as he finished off a very pretty flowing attacking move from the Timbers.
The start of the second half was marked by Houston coming out with energy, and put the Timbers’ goal under pressure early and often. That pressure paid off as Darwin Quintero cut Portland’s lead to one goal via a world-class half-volley from distance.
After Bill Tuiloma was sent off for a second yellow card and the Timbers were reduced to tee men, Portland had to defend for their lives for the final fifteen minutes of the game. But they defended successfully, and held on to achieve a 2-1 home win.
- 3’ Sebastian Blanco had a rip from distance after a nice layoff from Jaroslaw Niezgoda. The attacking sequence was started with a nice ball upfield from Santiago Moreno.
- 6’ On a set piece, a flicked header on from Niezgoda just glanced off the head of Yimmi Chara at the far post.
- 7’ Steve Clark was played a poor pass from his defense, and was just able to clear the ball under duress from Niezgoda— and jeers from the crowd. Welcome back to Portland, Steve!
- 8’ Shaky moment in the back as Bill Tuiloma & Josecarlos Van Rankin made a last ditch block to deny Sebastian Ferreira on the doorstep.
- 10’ Blanco was bodied down to the ground by Zeca, and no foul was called, which drew the ire of Giovanni Savarese on the sidelines. Blanco remained down for a few minutes, but was able to get up and continue.
- 17’ In a continuation of the earlier clash between the two, Blanco was shown a caution card after tangling with Zeca attempting to get to a loose ball.
- 19’ Another mighty team-up in the back, as Diego Chara and Tuiloma made another block to deny Houston on the doorstep.
- 21’ Memo Rodriguez was shown a yellow card for Houston, after chopping down Claudio Bravo.
- 22’ Coco Carrasquilla came within inches of opening the scoring, as he pinged a rocket from distance off the crossbar.
- 27’ Dario Zuparic was the next player to be shown a yellow card, after holding back Ferreira to stop a break.
- 30’ Moreno made a great turn in the box to make room for himself, but got the ball caught in his feet and couldn’t get his shot away.
- 32’ PENALTY! The Timbers earned a penalty kick after Yimmi Chara was clobbered over in the box from behind.
- 34’ GOAL TIMBERS: 1-0. In a mild surprise, Santiago Moreno was the one to step up to the spot. The young Colombian took his penalty with confidence, and buried the spot kick with aplomb past Steve Clark— as the former Timbers ‘keeper was rooted to his spot and didn’t even dive.
- 36’ GOAL TIMBERS: 2-0. Just about ninety seconds after his first goal, Moreno tallied another. A flowing passing move from the Timbers ended in Eryk Williamson dummying the ball for Santi in the box, and Moreno rifled a ball past Clark and into the net.
- 42’ To add to his first half goals, Santiago Moreno was also shown a caution card.
- 44’ The yellow cards were definitely out at the end of the second half, as Teenage Hadebe was shown a caution for clearing out Moreno at the sideline.
After four minutes of stoppage time, the chippy first half came to an end, with six total yellow cards shown and 16 fouls called in the opening frame. Santiago Moreno’s first half brace was the highlight, as it gave Portland a two-goal advantage going into the break.
- 48’ Portland’s block party continued, as it was Bravo this time who blocked a promising looking Houston shot.
- 50’ First dangerous chance of the half fell to Houston, as Lundqvist fizzed a ball across right in front of the goal— but no Dynamo player was there to meet it.
- 54’ Bill Tuiloma became the seventh player shown a yellow card, as he was adjudged to have won the ball late off of Rodriguez.
- 60’ Aljaz Ivacic made a brilliant double-save, as he parried away a bouncing Houston free kick and then scrambled well to block and claim the follow-up.
- 61’ A double-sub for the Timbers, as Felipe Mora made his return to Providence Park by replacing Niezgoda, and Dairon Asprilla came on for Blanco.
- 63’ Moreno had his hat trick denied at the near post by Clark. The shot came after Yimmi went on a hard run, and then rode a challenge from Hadebe in the box to lay it off for Santi.
- 65’ Goal Houston: 2-1. Darwin Quintero got a goal back for the visitors. He pulled off an unbelievable lob on the half-volley after a good switch from the Dynamo, as the Timbers found themselves caught out.
- 70’ Bravo was taken down in the box by Darwin Ceren. The play was reviewed at for a possible penalty, but no PK was called.
- 72’ Mora sent a glancing header off the crossbar. Yimmi Chara’s bicycle kick follow-up was blocked, and then Eryk Williamson was shown a caution card for pulling back the attempted Houston counter.
- 75’ RED CARD: Bill Tuiloma was shown a second yellow card, and was subsequently sent off.
- 78’ In the wake of the red card, Savarese made a triple sub: Mabiala, McGraw, and Ayala came on for Moreno, Y. Chara, and Williamson. Portland’s MLS hat trick watch would continue.
A man light, the next ten minutes were marked by the Timbers backline defending cross after cross from Houston, as they pushed for the equalizer
- 90’ Dairon Asprilla found himself with open field in front of him on the break, but he took too long with his shot and had it blocked.
After a nervy five minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew. The Portland Timbers held on to notch a vital 2-1 victory. The win brought the Timbers to 8th place in the Western Conference, one point below the playoff line.
The Timbers will next see the field when they hit the road to face Nashville SC at GEODIS Park on Sunday July 3, at 5:30 P.M. PT.