It was a match without many fireworks as the Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers played to a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night.
Both teams entered the night aiming to build momentum, with Houston looking to start a home winning streak and Portland hunting for their first road result since a 1-1 draw on March 17 against FC Dallas. With neither team able to emerge victorious, Portland got the type of result they were looking for, keeping the Dynamo at bay for a road point even if they were unable to muster a goal for the fourth straight match.
Houston had the better of the play, creating more chances and having more of the ball than the visitors. The Dynamo leaned on the Timbers for several long spells, including the final 10 minutes of the match, when the home side looked poised to score a winner. Despite having the edge in possession and peppering the opposition's goal with 17 shots, Houston were unable to crack a stingy Portland defense.
While the goals were nowhere to be found, the fouls were more easy to come by; both clubs played a physical brand in the middle third and committed their fair share of transgressions. The chippy play did not lend to a game that would yield many great chances.
The best chance of the match came in the 87th minute via Calen Carr. Houston's speedy attacker broke free on goal but Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins was up to the challenge, making a charging save to keep the scoreless draw. In addition to Carr’s attempt, Brian Ching and Geoff Cameron both had chances on goal in the final 10 minutes but were unable to convert their pressure into a winning goal.
The first half saw both clubs try to find their attack. After a 10-day break, Portland took the first 20 minutes to get flowing, conceding much of the early possession and chances to the Dynamo. As the half wore on, however, the Timbers started to pick up the pace, took long spells of possession, and forced the Dynamo to resort to long balls over the top until halftime.
While the chances were few and far between, former Dynamo midfielder Lovel Palmer had the first real chance of the game in the 12th minute, giving Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall something to think about from 25 yards out. Unfortunately for Portland, Hall would only be called into action once more for the remainder of the match.
The Dynamo's Will Bruin, Mac Kandji and Brad Davis all made a go at Perkins in the first half, but none of their shots proved troublesome for the goalkeeper, who ended up with seven saves on the night, including a handful of huge stops in the second half to preserve the scoreless draw.
In injury news, Portland played the second half without captain Jack Jewsbury who was substituted for Mike Chabala and will be evaluated for a potential hip injury.
Portland’s record goes to 2-5-3 (9 points). They will return home to host the Chicago Fire on Sunday.
Houston, meanwhile, goes to 3-3-3 (12 points), and will venture back on the road to face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
Houston Dynamo (3-3-3) vs. Portland Timbers (2-5-3)
May 15, 2012 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX - Attendance: 22,039 (sellout)
Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall; Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Calen Carr, Luiz Camargo, Nathan Sturgis, Brad Davis (Alex Dixon 74); Macoumba Kandji (Colin Clark 71), Will Bruin (Brian Ching 64)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Adam Moffat, Andre Hainault, Je-Vaughn Watson
Portland Timbers – Troy Perkins; Jack Jewsbury (Mike Chabala 45), Hanyer Mosquera, Mamadou Danso, Steven Smith; Frank Songo’o (Eric Alexander 69), Diego Chara, Lovel Palmer, Rodney Wallace (Sal Zizzo 60), Kris Boyd, Darlington Nagbe
Substitutes not used: David Horst, Joe Bendik, Mike Fucito, Jorge Perlaza
Misconduct Summary: Portland – Kris Boyd (caution) 92
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: Chris Strickland, Eric Proctor
Fourth official: Jorge Luna Hernandez