Two late goals led the Portland Timbers to a 2-0 victory of the Houston Dynamo in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday evening at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
After the clubs were scoreless for the first 80 minutes, the Timbers broke through for the opening goal. Max Urruti collected the ball in midfield and combined with Gaston Fernandez before Will Johnson charged into the penalty area and finished his chance for a 1-0 lead.
Three minute later, the Timbers struck again. With the Dynamo pressing in the attacking half, Portland counterattacked, with Fernandez eventually threading a pass to Urruti, who beat Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric for a 2-0 advantage.
The 90-minute contest was divided into three 30-minute periods. The Dynamo mostly controlled the run of play in the first 60 minutes but couldn’t seize the lead. In the first minute, midfielder Brian Ownby broke down the right wing and into the penalty area, but couldn’t connect with a teammate.
After several corner kicks, the Dynamo gained a free kick 30 yards from goal in the 42nd minute. Midfielder Alex López curled a well-placed delivery near the penalty spot and David Horst won the header but steered it wide of goal.
Portland began to threaten early in the second half, with Hall forced to make a save on a shot from Frederic Piquionne before denying Kalif Alhassan a minute later.
Houston responded with two chances of its own. First, Tony Cascio slipped his defender and fed Omar Cummings, who fired wide of the near post from 12 yards. Two minutes later, Will Bruin was provider for Cummings, but the Jamaican fired over the bar.
The start of the third period included wholesale changes to the Portland lineup. Urruti was part of the new group and came close to scoring in the 71st minute, firing a shot that hit the far post and bounced out.
A minute before the Portland opener, Deric made a sturdy save on a firm shot from Schillo Tshuma from 20 yards out.
Houston threatened in second-half stoppage time, with Cummings forcing a sliding save from Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
The Dynamo continue their stretch of three preseason scrimmages in Tucson on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. CT, when they meet the San Jose Earthquakes at Kino Sports Complex. The match will be streamed live at www.HoustonDynamo.com.
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers
February 5, 2014 – Kino Sports Complex
POR: Will Johnson (Max Urruti, Gaston Fernández), 80
POR: Max Urruti (Gaston Fernández), 83
Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall (Tyler Deric 60); Mike Chabala, David Horst (Eric Brunner, 45), AJ Cochran (Anthony Arena, 45) (AJ Cochran 60), Euan Holden^ (Corey Ashe 45); Alexander López (Boniek García 45), Servando Carrasco (Ricardo Clark 45), Sito Seoane* (Giles Barnes 45); Brian Ownby (Tony Cascio 45), Mark Sherrod (Omar Cummings 45), Jason Johnson (Will Bruin 45)
Portland Timbers – Andrew Weber (Donovan Ricketts 60), Jorge Villafaña (Michael Harrington 60), Futty Danso (Norberto Paparatto 60), Rauwshan McKenzie (Pa Modou Kah 60), Alvas Powell (Bryan Gallego 45) (Jack Jewsbury 60), Aaron Long (George Fochive 45) (Diego Chara 60), Ben Zemanski (Gastón Fernández 60), Kalif Alhassan (Will Johnson 60), Michael Nanchoff (Darlington Nagbe 60), Frederic Piquionne (Maximiliano Urruti 60), Victor Chavez (Taylor Peay, 30) (Schillo Tshuma, 60)