Winless Timbers get first road points of '14 - KPTV - FOX 12

Winless Timbers get first road points of '14

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Forward Gastón Fernández registered a first-half equalizer, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves and the Timbers controlled nearly 60 percent of the possession to earn a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

The Timbers (0-3-5, 5pts) conceded the opening goal against the run of play as Houston forward Will Bruin staked the Dynamo (2-4-2, 8pts) to an early lead with a header from close range in the 16th minute. Controlling nearly 70 percent of the possession in the first half, Portland found the game-tying goal through Fernández in the 33rd minute as the forward netted his team-leading third goal of the season, depositing a strong shot into the back of the net from just behind the penalty spot.

On the road for a second consecutive match, Portland dictated the pace for large portions against the Dynamo and extended their unbeaten streak against Houston to three consecutive matches (1-0-2), dating back to the 2012 season. Portland remains one of only three MLS teams that has not lost at BBVA Compass Stadium since it opened in 2012.

Portland held Houston to just one shot on goal in the second half. Midfielder Diego Valeri saw a low drive from the right side of the box saved by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall in the 39th minute. During the buildup, the referee played the advantage for Portland after Fernández was fouled, but midfielder Diego Chara was there to continue the attack before sliding a pass to Valeri inside the box.

Chara had a quick effort saved inside the first minute of the match and forward Kalif Alhassan had a low shot toward the near post stopped in the 32nd minute before Fernández tallied the equalizer for the Timbers. The tally marked Fernández's third game-tying goal of the season. In second-half stoppage time, substitute midfielder Michael Nanchoff dribbled into the right side of the box and delivered a left-footed shot that was blocked by Houston defender Jermaine Taylor.

On the defensive end, Ricketts came up with a crucial save on Houston's only shot on target during the second half, quickly reacting to smother a point-blank effort from Bruin in the 71st minute.

The Timbers return home for three straight matches at Providence Park starting Saturday, May 3, against D.C. United; kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Saturday's match against D.C. United will be carried live on ROOT SPORTS with local radio broadcasts on 750 The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940AM.

Notes:

  • Sunday's match was the only regular-season meeting with Houston in 2014. With the draw, the Timbers extended their unbeaten streak against the Dynamo to three straight games (1-0-2), dating back to the 2012 season.
  • With the draw, the Timbers remain one of only three teams (Colorado, Toronto FC) that have not lost a match at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
  • The Timbers held 58.3 percent of possession against Houston, the second-highest percentage of possession the team has held in a single game this season. 
  • The Timbers attempted 491 passes against the Dynamo, the most by the club in a single game this season. The club's 433 successful passes on Sunday marked the most by Portland in a single game in 2014.
  • The club's passing accuracy against Houston was above 85 percent. At 88.2 percent, Sunday's passing accuracy was the best in a game for the Timbers in 2014.
  • In Houston's half of the field, the Timbers registered a passing accuracy of 82.23 percent, the best in a game in the opponent's half for Portland in 2014.
  • All three of forward Gastón Fernández's goals this season have been game-tying goals.
  • Midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe made his 56th consecutive league start for the Timbers dating back to the 2012 season. Nagbe has appeared in 75 of the team's 76 games since the start of the 2012 season.
  • Defender Jack Jewsbury and midfielder Diego Chara each made their 95th career MLS appearance for the Timbers on Sunday.
  • On Sunday, defender Michael Harrington notched his 190th career MLS appearance.
  • Sunday's match was the 110th regular-season match for the Timbers as an MLS club since 2011.
  • Defender Futty Danso, who made his third consecutive start, celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday.
  • Starting on May 3 with a home game against D.C. United, the Timbers play six of their next nine regular-season matches at Providence Park.

Release from Portland Timbers.

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