HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo’s unbeaten home streak was put to the test Saturday night against the Portland Timbers, but the unwavering Orange side salvaged a draw thanks to a late equalizer.
The Dynamo are still unbeaten at BBVA Compass Stadium with eight wins and three draws. Of the 11 games, however, none was tougher than Saturday’s.
Houston Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera called the Portland Timbers a good contender with talented individual players. That was proven when the visitors sent the Dynamo into the home locker room with their first halftime deficit of the season.
But the scoreline did not deter the Dynamo.
“We never panicked. The guys were calm,” Cabrera said. “We were calm because we knew that we have the good mentality to go after them [Portland] and we needed to do it. It was just a matter of organizing ourselves a little bit because they were finding some spots behind our midfielders and they were moving the ball very well where we were being punished.”
Dynamo midfielder Juan David Cabezas notched his first goal with the Dynamo and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. His header off a Memo Rodriguez free kick leveled the score nine minutes from full time. Cabezas said Cabrera told the team at halftime that they were facing a smart team full of technical players who can move the ball well.
“We needed to have more intensity and focus on the runs behind us because they’re [Portland] great at that,” Cabezas said of what Cabrera told the team at halftime. “But mainly that we were at home and we needed to have more will because we couldn’t let these points slip at home and I think the team did that.”
The draw could have easily been a loss as the Portland Timbers added a third goal in the 55th minute before the referee called it back for offside after conferring with the assistant referee.
Cabrera noted that the disallowed goal helped his side to continue paying attention and stay in the game. In the end, Cabrera says the draw is thanks to the fight of his team.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the players because they fought. They fought a lot and the team was able to come back every time that we were losing,” Cabrera said. “Everyone did a good job. It was double effort. When you’re losing at home you have to make double effort because you have to take risks, but also be careful defending.”