Timbers down Dynamo 2-1 for second straight win

by Charlie Folkestad
Santiago Moreno celebrates with Dairon Asprilla after converting a penalty kick in the 34th minute.

Ten yellow cards? Damn.

Two goals in three minutes? Wow!

Six points in five days? Even better!

The Portland Timbers defeated the Houston Dynamo 2-0 in Providence Park in Portland Wednesday night. Santiago Moreno scored a first-half brace for the Timbers, who are now riding a three-match unbeaten streak since the international break.

Bill Tuiloma’s second yellow card in the 75th minute meant Portland had to finish the night with 10 men, but it was probably worth it for the Timbers, who now find themselves one point outside the Western Conference playoff picture.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

Match Summary

Prior to the match, the Timbers Army unveiled their annual Pride Tifo. This year’s edition did not disappoint.

Former Timber Steve Clark was a fan favorite up until this season, when he signed with Houston. He was given a resounding “DODGY KEEPER” chant by the Army, as is customary for any visiting goalie in Providence Park.

This match was chippy from the opening whistle, with 19 fouls and six yellow cards being issued in the first half alone.

Both teams had chances, with Bill Tuiloma making two crucial blocks in the first half to prevent would-be Dynamo shots on target.

Moreno belted home a penalty past Clark in the 34th minute after Yimmi Chara drew a foul in the penalty area.

Moreno celebrated his first goal by running to the bench and dancing with fellow Colombian Dairon Asprilla. Ironically, Moreno has essentially replaced Asprilla in the starting XI this season after being brought on as a U22 Initiative signing last year.

The younger Colombian wasn’t done, though. Just two minutes later, he put the finishing touch on Portland’s best team goal of the season.

Unlike on Saturday, the Timbers’ opponents came out with more punch in the second half. Houston subbed on Darwin Quintero Jr in the 58th minute, and the 34-year-old scored a wonder-strike in the 65th to make it 2-1.

Things got much worse for the Timbers 10 minutes later, when Tuiloma received his second yellow card for a hard foul.

Up 2-1 and down a man, the Timbers still didn’t cover themselves in glory. Houston maintained 73% of second-half possession, firing off 15 total shots (five on target).

Aljaz Ivacic made five saves and three high claims, and Gio Savarese brought on two center backs to go to a back five. Portland missed multiple counterattacking chances, but wasted just enough time to escape with three points.

Notes

Portland are still without a hat trick in MLS play. Moreno is the latest to miss out on a third goal, while Jaroslaw Niezgoda netted a brace with no hatty on Saturday.

Niezgoda was replaced by Felipe Mora in the 61st minute, though Savarese didn’t plan for it to be that early. According to the head coach, Niezgoda experienced some tightness before leaving the pitch.

Portland are now unbeaten in seven straight matches against the Dynamo, with their last loss coming in May 15th, 2019.

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