Timbers Earn Point on the Road in Draw with Houston Dynamo
USTON - Behind a second-half goal from forward Brian Fernandez, the Portland Timbers secured a point on the road with a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday evening. Making his MLS and Timbers debut, Fernandez notched the game-tying goal in the 77th minute, while Sebastián Blanco tallied his fifth assist of the season.
Entering the match in the 65th minute, Fernandez scored his first career goal for the Timbers just 12 minutes after coming onto the field. It is the quickest goal ever scored by a Timbers player in his MLS debut. The previous record was held by Diego Valeri, who scored 14 minutes into his Timbers debut on March 3, 2013.
Blanco in form
Blanco recorded the assist on Fernandez's game-tying goal for his fifth assist of the season, which is tied for second-most in MLS. Blanco now has tallied all five of his assists over his last six games for Portland.
Record road warriors
Portland became just the second team to earn a point against Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium in 2019. Wednesday's match marked the Timbers' 11th consecutive road match, establishing the record for the longest road trip in MLS history, surpassing the previous record of 10 road matches by Sporting Kansas City in 2011. The Timbers have posted a record of 3-1-1 (10pts) in their last five road matches.
Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made consecutive stops in the 12th minute of the match, first, denying Alberth Elis from point-blank range near the right post, and then diving to his left to parry away a curling strike from the edge of the box by Elis.
Portland came close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute. On the counter-attack, Andy Polo played a quick back-heel pass to Blanco making a run to the edge of the box. Blanco fired a long-range effort toward goal, but it bounced off the crossbar.
Receiving the ball near the left corner of the box, Blanco spotted Jeremy Ebobisse making a run inside the box toward goal. Blanco delivered a pinpoint pass to Ebobisse, who hit a one-time shot from close range that went just wide of the right post in the 28th minute.
Houston secured a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute, converting off a corner kick. Elis flicked the ball on with a header in the center of the box, finding Mauro Manotas, who directed the ball with his chest into the back of the net near the left post.
Diego Valeri created the first scoring chance of the second half on a direct free kick. Valeri fired a shot on target from 35 yards out, forcing a save by Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis in the 48th minute.
On his Timbers debut, Fernandez leveled the match in the 77th minute. Blanco quickly switched the point of the attack from the left side, serving a ball from Houston's half of the field to find Fernandez making a perfectly timed run in behind the Dynamo defense. Fernandez settled the ball just outside the box and finished with a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner.
Finishing the match with eight saves, Attinella kept the score level in the 88th minute. Leading the break for Houston, Romell Quioto dribbled to the edge of the box and sent a hard, low strike toward the bottom right corner of the goal, but Attinella dove to his left to stop the attempt.
Making his Timbers debut, Brian Fernandez scored his first MLS goal.
Fernandez scored his goal 12 minutes after entering the match. It is the quickest goal ever scored by a Timbers player in his MLS debut. The previous record was held by Diego Valeri, who scored 14 minutes into his Timbers debut on March 3, 2013.
Sebastián Blanco delivered his fifth assist of the season in the match. All five of Blanco's assists have come in Portland's last six matches.
Renzo Zambrano made his MLS debut, starting and playing the full 90 minutes. It is the second time Zambrano has played a competitive match for the club, having also played for Portland in a U.S. Open Cup match against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 6, 2018.
With Fernandez and Zambrano making their debuts, the Timbers now have had 108 different players play in an MLS match for the club.
Valeri created six chances in the match according to Opta. Valeri has six or more chances created in three different away matches in 2019, which is more than every other player in MLS combined this season.
The match was Blanco's 75th MLS regular-season match for Portland. He is the 12th Timbers player to reach 75 MLS games played for the club.
The match was the 11th consecutive road match for the Timbers, setting a new MLS record for consecutive road games.
The Timbers conclude their stretch of 12 consecutive road matches to begin the season with a match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, May 25, at Talen Energy Stadium. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will feature a regional television broadcast on ROOT SPORTS with local radio broadcasts on 1029 and 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (3-6-2, 11pts) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-2-2, 20pts)
May 15, 2019 - BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
Houston Dynamo 1 0 1
U: Manotas (Elis, Rodríguez), 40
POR: Fernandez (Blanco), 77
POR: Zambrano (caution), 42
U: Figueroa (caution), 47
POR: Blanco (caution), 79
POR: GK Attinella, D Moreira, D Cascante, D Tuiloma, D Villafaña, M Paredes (Flores, 33), M Zambrano, M Polo (Fernandez, 65), M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Conechny, 77)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Clark, D Dielna, D Valentin, F Melano
TOTAL STS: 16 (Blanco, 4); STS ON GOAL: 5 (Valeri, 2); FOULS: 15 (Blanco, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES:8
U: GK Willis, D DeLaGarza, D Struna, D Figueroa, D Beasley ©, M Vera, M B. García, M Elis, M Martínez (McNamara, 77), M Rodríguez (Quioto, 82), F Manotas
Substitutes Not Used: GK Deric, D Lundkvist, D K. Garcia, M Cabezas, M Ceren
TOTAL STS: 19 (Elis, 5); STS ON GOAL: 9 (Elis, 3); FOULS: 7 (García, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Gjovalin Bori
4th Official: Rosendo Mendoza
VAR: Malik Badwi
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
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