HOUSTON – Forward Gastón Fernández registered a first-half equalizer, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves and the Portland Timbers controlled nearly 60 percent of the possession in a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Dynamo forward Will Bruin and Fernández traded first-half goals during the opening 45 minutes of play Sunday. Portland (0-3-5, 5pts) dictated the pace for large portions against the Dynamo (2-3-2, 8pts), including 68 percent possession in the first half, and extended their unbeaten streak against Houston to three consecutive matches (1-0-2), dating back to the 2012 season. The Timbers remain one of only three MLS teams that have not lost at BBVA Compass Stadium since it opened in 2012.
The Dynamo lineup featured the return of midfielder Brad Davis, who set up the game's open goal by Bruin in the 16th minute. The U.S. international came back from a three-game absence and played a cross to Bruin in the box, and Bruin headed the cross past Ricketts for his first goal in his last six games. The goal also snapped a 334-minute scoreless streak for the Dynamo.
But the Timbers countered in the 33rd minute off the foot of Fernández. As part of a build up down the right side, midfielder Kalif Alhassan hit a pass into the Dynamo box that deflected off Davis and onto the path of Fernández, who wasted little movement hitting a first time effort into the upper-right corner to pull the Timbers level. The goal was the his third this season, all of which have been game-tying goals.
Midfielder Diego Valeri finished the match with a team-high three shots, while midfielder Diego Chara had an effort saved inside the first minute and Alhassan had a low drive to the near post stopped in the 32nd minute before Fernández tallied the equalizer.
Houston’s first scoring chance of the second half came right after the break, when striker Giles Barnes glanced a header wide of the post off a cross from Oscar Boniek García. The hosts followed with a good look for Bruin in the 69th minute that was snuffed out by a charging Ricketts; Houston's only shot on goal in the second half.
Both teams are back in action on May 3, when the Dynamo take on Chivas USA at the StubHub Center, while the Timbers host D.C. United at Providence Park.
Portland Timbers (0-3-5, 5pts) at Houston Dynamo (2-4-2, 8pts)
April 27, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 0 0
Houston Dynamo 1 0 0
HOU: Bruin (Davis, Ashe), 16
POR: Fernández, 33
HOU: Taylor (Caution), 40
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D Jewsbury, D Danso, D Kah, D Harrington, M Chara, M Valeri (Urruti, 69), M Johnson ©, F Nagbe (Zakuani, 87), F Fernández, F Alhassan (Nanchoff, 76)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Paparatto, D Powell, M Zemanski
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Valeri, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 10 (Harrington, Nanchoff, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4
HOU: GK Hall, D Sarkodie, D Horst, D Taylor, D Ashe, M Creavalle (Carrasco, 64), M Davis (Ownby, 79), M Barnes, F Garcia, F Bruin (Sherrod, 90), F Driver
Substitutes Not Used: GK Deric, D Cochran, M Clark, M López
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Bruin, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Bruin, 3); FOULS: 12 (Barnes, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3
Referee: Dave Gantar
Assistant Referees: Philippe Briere, Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Ismail Elfath
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 81 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial