The Houston Dynamo used some late heroics from midfielder Juan David Cabezas Saturday night to keep their unbeaten record at BBVA Compass Stadium this season intact as they played to a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers.
Cabezas scored on a powerful header in the 81st minute to tie the game just nine minutes from full time. Standing over a free kick 30 yards out near the right touchline, midfielder Memo Rodriguez whipped in a cross to the back post. Cabezas lost his mark and leapt high above the Portland back line, heading the ball into the turf where it bounced past Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and into the net.
Rodriguez nearly replicated his feat for the game-winning goal in stoppage time. From virtually the same spot in the 94th minute, he sent in another perfect cross, this time finding forward Romell Quioto. The Honduran’s headed shot appeared to have Gleeson beaten, but it whistled just wide of the far post, leaving the game deadlocked when the final whistle blew moments later.
The Dynamo found themselves behind in the match at home for the second time this season when, in the 13th minute, Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe played a pass to defender Zarek Valentin on the right side of the Dynamo penalty area. Valentin sent a low cross to the middle of the box where midfielder Diego Valeri was making a delayed run. The Argentine got passed his defender and fired a shot past Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
The Dynamo kept pressing and eventually answered the Timbers in the 37th minute. Forward Andrew Wenger sent a cross from the right side which Gleeson initially punched away, but it fell to the feet of Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas, who fired a first-touch volley into the back of the net.
The Timbers retook the lead late in the first half, sending the Dynamo into the locker room trailing at home for the first time this season. In the 43rd minute, Valeri and midfielder Sebastián Blanco worked a give-and-go to perfection to set up the goal. Blanco passed the ball to Valeri and sprinted into the box. Valeri drove to the byline and sent a pass back toward the penalty spot where he found Blanco, who played a right-footed shot past Deric.
The Timbers nearly nabbed a third goal in the 55th minute when forward Fanendo Adi appeared to score, but it was ruled offside by referee José Carlos Rivero after a brief consultation with his assistant.
The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Saturday, August 5 at 9:00 p.m. CDT against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Houston Dynamo 2-2 Portland Timbers
MLS Week 22
July 29, 2017 – BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, Texas
POR: Diego Valeri 11 (Zarek Valentin 3, Darlington Nagbe 4) 13
HOU: Mauro Manotas 7 (unassisted) 37
POR: Sebastian Blanco 5 (Diego Valeri 8) 43
HOU: Juan David Cabezas 1 (Memo Rodriguez 1) 81
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley; Ricardo Clark © (Memo Rodriguez 59), Juan David Cabezas, Alex; Andrew Wenger (Alberth Elis 46), Erick Torres (Romell Quioto 62), Mauro Manotas
Unused Substitutes: Joe Willis, Dylan Remick, Jalil Anibaba, Boniek García
Total shots: 16 (Mauro Manotas 6); Shots on goal: 6 (Mauro Manotas 2); Fouls: 16 (Juan David Cabezas 4); Offside: 1 (Alberth Elis 1); Corner kicks: 2 (Alex, Mauro Manotas 1); Saves: 3 (Tyler Deric 3)
Portland Timbers: Jake Gleeson; Zarek Valentin, Larrys Mabiala, Lawrence Olum, Roy Miller; Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe (Victor Arboleda 75); David Guzmán, Diego Valeri ©, Sebastián Blanco; Fanendo Adi (Jeremy Ebobisse 72)
Unused Substitutes: Jeff Attinella, Vytas Andriuskevicius, Alvas Powell, Ben Zemanski, Jack Barmby
Total shots: 16 (Sebastián Blanco 4); Shots on goal: 5 (Sebastián Blanco 3); Fouls: 13 (Diego Chara 3); Offside: 1 (Fanendo Adi 1); Corner kicks: 5 (David Guzmán 5); Saves: 4 (Jake Gleeson 4)
POR: Roy Miller (caution; foul) 65
POR: Diego Chara (caution; foul) 68
HOU: Juan David Cabezas (caution; persistent infringement) 85
Referee: José Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referee 1: Jeff Hosking
Assistant Referee 2: Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfrath