Dynamo settle for draw with Timbers

Despite a flurry of off-target shots, the Portland Timbers swiped a second-half goal to tie the Houston Dynamo in a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday.

Portland (3-6-2, 11 points) unleashed its first shot within the first minute when Matias Vera turned his back to Sebastian Blanco to deflect his early effort from near the edge of the area. But the Dynamo fought their way onto the board first when Mauro Manotas recorded his seventh goal in seven games against the Timbers.

In the 40th minute, Memo Rodriguez helped facilitate the Dynamo’s (6-2-2, 20 points) opening score with a corner kick from the right corner.

The ball floated down into the fray where Alberth Elis emerged to head it toward the opposite post where Manotas steered the ball into the back of the net with his face. The goal was his sixth of the season. It also helped him and Elis reach separate milestones.

Manotas drew even with Brad Davis for third in club history in regular season goals scored (41). Elis became the fifth Dynamo player to record 20 goals and assists.

Despite being out-shot by Portland in the first half, the Dynamo were more economical, landing a greater percentage of their shots on target.

One of those shots came in the 25th minute as Rodriguez darted into the area. He shook off a defender as he ran parallel to the net then angled a shot that curled just wide of the post.

Three minutes later, Portland forward Jeremy Ebobisse provided one of the Timbers’ best chances when he received a cross from the opposite side of the box then tried to poke the ball past a beaten Joe Willis. But the shot strayed just wide of the post as the crowd let out a collective sigh of relief.

In the 76th minute, the Dynamo had another opportunity when Tomas Martinez chipped the ball above a defender along the sideline to send Elis on the attack. Elis angled his charge toward goal but the effort ultimately didn’t bear fruit — or points.

Instead, a minute later, Blanco launched a lobbing pass to Brian Fernandez deep in Dynamo territory. Fernandez got on top of the ball and, as Willis charged at him, coolly deposited the ball into the net for the tying score before running to tease the crowd with his hands spread out behind his ears.

Four minutes after, in the 81st minute, Manotas broke down the sideline looking to recapture the lead with a defender giving chase. But the attack was diffused as he failed to connect with Elis, who’d slid into back of net.

Both sides fought to decide the game in stoppage time.

Attacking from the perimeters, Houston unsuccessfully tried to dismantle Portland’s defense through long runs by Elis and Romell Quioto. Fernandez even had another chance for the Timbers but Willis was able to snuff it out as Dynamo defender Aljaz Struna struggled to contain his run.

Houston returns to the pitch on Saturday when it hosts D.C. United.

 

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