Bonus

Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers Recap

Timbers vs. Dynamo from BBVA Stadium in Houston

The Dynamo put on a performance against the playoff-bound Portland Timbers on route to a  4-1 victory at home.

While it may be a lost season for the struggling Dynamo, they managed a result for the first time in 10 matches. However, it was the lackluster Timbers performance that had fans at BBVA Compass Stadium cheering.

But things didn’t look great for Houston at the beginning. While the Dynamo defense sat back deep in the opening five minutes, Portland took advantage. After a nervous start on defense in the first 10 minutes, Alejandro Fuenmayor scored an unfortunate own goal in the 9th minute. The goal came off a pass from Alvas Powell and bounced off Fuenmayor’s leg.  However, the Dynamo would wake up shortly after that miscue.

As a matter of fact, one man dominated the field for Houston. That man is Alberth Elis. In the 32nd minute, Elis would level the game and it was game on from there. The goal came off a set piece after a yellow card was given to Portland defender Zarek Valentin. On that set piece, Tomas Martinez put the ball in the box for Elis to head it off the right post.

Following Elis’s goal, another goal came courtesy of Mauro Manotas in the 39th minute. That goal gave Houston the lead for good. This time the assist was from Elis as he fired in a pass for Manotas to brace in. Manotas would score again in the 71st minute to make it 3-1. His second goal gave him 14 goals total on the season. With those 14, Manotas now owns the record for most goals by a Dynamo player in a calendar year.

In the early stages of the game, the Dynamo defense was in trouble. However, as the game wore on the midfielders helped out and settled the back line. The wing players for the Dynamo made some spectacular passes, crosses, and their overall cutting and movement on the field was nothing short of perfect. When Manotas and Elis work together, it’s magic and the aggressive midfield play led to many counterattacks, breakaways, and defensive stops.

The final goal for the Dynamo came when Fuenmayor received the ball from a set piece and scored in the 81st minute. He more than made up for his error in the early stages of the game.

As for the Timbers, it was an overall poor performance. Diego Valeri lacked life in the midfield and had very little in the form of help. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Steve Clark just had a really rough day at the office last night.

With the loss, the Timbers now fall to sixth place in the Western Conference standings. Other mishaps could see Portland miss the playoffs entirely. With a victory, Portland would’ve jumped as far as third place in the standings.

Man of the Match

Alberth Elis takes the man of the match award for tonight’s game. With his spectacular hustle, defense, and wing play, the Dynamo were dangerous all night. He scored on one goal and assisted on another. He constantly cut inside for passes and his movement saw him all over the field.

Extra Stats of the night

Fouls: Houston 13, Portland 7

Yellow Cards: Houston 2, Portland 3

Possession: Houston 45%, Portland 55%

Shots on goal: Houston 5, Portland 4

Total shots: Houston 11, Portland 12

Final thoughts

Overall, it was a great display of pride for Houston Dynamo fans tonight. The team showed up and made the road to the playoffs that much harder for Portland. After some fun counterattacks, the defense didn’t just sit deep and hope the other team doesn’t score. Nonetheless, they showed up, played hard, and put on a wonderful and balanced display tonight.

Next up for Houston, Orlando City SC in Orlando on September 22nd. Hopefully, the Dynamo can build from this game and win out as the MLS season comes to a close.

As for Portland, next up is Colombus Crew at home on September 19th. The Timbers must finish strong if they want to remain in the playoff picture.

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