Houston Dynamo FC suffered its first defeat of the year, dropping a tough 2-1 decision to the Portland Timbers tonight at Providence Park.
The Dynamo rallied from an early goal and nearly did so again after Portland scored late, but the efforts at an equalizer in the final minutes, including one that was cleared away at the goal line, weren’t able to find the net for the visitors.
Portland opened the scoring in the sixth minute through forward Dairon Asprilla. After a Portland throw-in, defender Pablo Bonilla whipped in a low cross that fizzed across the penalty area and Asprilla ran onto it and put his shot in the net.
The Dynamo scored to equalize in the 28th minute thanks to a Portland own goal. The goal came off of a brilliantly executed short corner kick for Houston. Winger Tyler Pasher played short to midfielder Memo Rodriguez, who returned the ball to Pasher near the top of the penalty area. Pasher fired in a cross for captain Boniek García at the six-yard box, and the ball deflected off of Timbers midfielder Cristhian Paredes and into the goal.
Portland retook the lead in the 73rd minute after a goal from midfielder Cristhian Paredes. Paredes’ first-touch shot came after a long ball from defender Bill Tuiloma to forward Felipe Mora, which Mora headed down to the onrushing Paredes.
Houston nearly equalized a second time in the 83rd minute when Pasher curled in a cross that found the head of forward Ari Lassiter at the near post. Lassiter turned the ball toward goal, but his effort slipped just outside the near post for a goal kick.
A minute later, Pasher charged in on goal to get a touch to a ball slipped through by midfielder Darwin Quintero, but his sliding shot was cleared by a Portland defender and Lassiter was unable to put the rebound on frame from a tight angle.
Lassiter had another look at goal in the 90th minute, getting around the Portland defense on the right side, but his shot was saved by Attinella at the near post. The Costa Rican international was lively in his 16-minute shift, leading the team with three shots on the night.
The Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Saturday, May 1 to host the Los Angeles Football Club. This will be the first nationally televised game of the season for the Dynamo, with the contest airing live on Univision. The Dynamo announced earlier this week that they will increase capacity at BBVA Stadium to 40%, or approximately 9,000 fans, as they begin the second phase of the process to return to full capacity by mid-summer.