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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Timbers 0 - 0 Houston Dynamo

Some spectacular goalkeeping and resolute defending saw the Timbers earn a hard-fought point down in Houston.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Houston Dynamo FC Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers secured a 0-0 draw with the Houston Dynamo away from home thanks to some heroic goalkeeping from Aljaz Ivacic, and stalwart defending from Larrys Mabiala and Bill Tuiloma.

Barring a few blunders from Josecarlos Van Rankin that Ivacic cleaned up spectacularly, the Timbers played extremely well in the first half. I thought that, especially toward the end of the opening 45 minutes, they found a lot of joy attacking the wide areas and sending in dangerous low crosses, particularly down their left-hand side through Sebastian Blanco and Claudio Bravo.

The second half went almost entirely the way of the Dynamo, who attacked the Portland defense relentlessly, and drew another spectacular save out of Ivacic to keep the Dynamo off the scoresheet. Houston defender Teenage Hadebe put the Timbers into a great position to turn the draw into a win after he was sent off for a second yellow in the 75th minute, but the Timbers couldn’t manage to find the winner.

  • 8’ Van Rankin found himself at left-back after a direct long ball from Houston, and played an atrocious ball across the backline that Darwin Quintero pounced on, before cutting onto his right and firing a low shot that Ivacic did well to save.
  • 13’ Diego Chara surpassed Kyle Beckerman for the most fouls committed in MLS history!
  • 16’ Cristhian Paredes received a yellow card for dissent after an extremely soft foul was called against Diego Chara.
  • 18’ Fafa Picault absolutely torched Van Rankin for pace down the middle of the pitch, and found himself 1v1 with Ivacic, but the Portland ‘keeper stood tall and made an outstanding save.
  • 24’ Jaroslaw Niezgoda was on the receiving end of a nasty aerial challenge from Houston’s Teenage Hadebe, and required a good deal of bandaging around his head. Hadebe, and later Blanco, were both cautioned for their roles in the incident.
  • 39’ Paredes received the ball on the edge of the box after a flicked header from Diego Chara and blasted a half-volley at Steve Clark, who did well to parry the shot out for a corner. From the corner, a fully-stretched Bill Tuiloma missed the chance to score his third of the season by mere inches.
  • 43’ After a driving run from Paredes, and through-ball from Yimmi Chara, Blanco had a very good chance to open the scoring for the Timbers, but his shot sailed over the bar from the corner of the box.
  • After five minutes of added time due to Niezgoda’s head knock, the first half ended 0-0. The Timbers came to life in the final 10 minutes of the half, prioritizing playing the ball into wide areas and whipping in crosses with pace into the box, which Houston had a difficult time dealing with.
  • 48’ After being beaten by Griffin Dorsey, Claudio Bravo made a brilliant recovery tackle inside the box to put an end to a dangerous chance for Houston. VAR reviewed the challenge, but deemed Bravo’s challenge to be a clean one.
  • 58’ Blanco curled a beautiful cross from deep into Niezgoda in the six-yard-box, but the Timbers’ striker took a poor touch that allowed Tim Parker to put the ball out for a corner. Had Niezgoda shot the ball first-time, it would have surely been the opening goal.
  • 62’ Niezgoda and Paredes were substituted for Dairon Asprilla and David Ayala.
  • 65’ Ivacic made another absolutely stunning save just past the hour mark, getting his fingertips to a glanced, goal-bound header to send the ball off of the post to keep the Timbers’ clean sheet in-tact.
  • 71’ Marvin Loria entered the match for Santiago Moreno.
  • 75’ Hadebe was shown a second yellow, and sent off for cynically bringing down Yimmi Chara on the counterattack.
  • 82’ Dario Zuparic and Eryk Williamson were brought into the match for Van Rankin and Blanco.
  • 90’ Six minutes of stoppage time were added to the end of the match.
  • 90+5’ Yimmi Chara had a golden chance to win the game in the dying moments after being set up by a beautiful layoff from Loria in the box, but the Timbers’ Designated player scuffed his open shot wide of the net.

The game finished 0-0 with both teams sharing the points.

Portland are back in action on Saturday, April 23rd when they take on Real Salt Lake at Providence Park. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Pacific.