Houston Dynamo 0, Portland Timbers 0 | MLS Cup Playoffs Recap
The night was marred by injuries for the Timbers as two starters were ruled out before the start of the match and three more were forced to sub off before the final whistle. And yet they earned a result on the road and return home knowing any result with goals puts them in the Western Conference Championship.
The home team did not create many chances, putting just two shots on target. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera decided to go with Mauro Manotas up top in place of Erick "Cubo" Torres, and the Colombian was flanked by Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto.
- Video Review reversal did not change game according to Elis, Cabrera
- Caleb Porter encouraged by Timbers' depth after rash of injuries
- FEW CHANCES ABOUND: With Portland dealing with injuries and Houston more comfortable on the counter, the offensive production was almost nonexistent in South Texas. The two times combined for just four shots on target as both completed less than 80 percent of their passes.
- CONTROVERSIAL CALLS: The Dynamo thought they had a penalty kick coming their way in the 30th minute when Larrys Mabiala took down Elis in the box but the call was overturned after Video Review deemed the play to not be a foul. 10 minutes later there was a controversial play where Tyler Deric and Darren Mattocks came together in the box with angles unclear if Deric was able to get the ball first. Referee Robert Sibiga did not call a foul.
- INJURIES ABOUND: David Guzman was known to be questionable heading into the match, but it was not known that Sebastian Blanco had an accident with boiling water that put him out as well. The Timbers lost two more players before the end of the first half as both Mabiala and Diego Chara were forced to leave with injuries. Another Timber fell by the wayside in the second half as Darlington Nagbe left in the 59th minute. There are six days until the return leg, and Caleb Porter will be surely be tracking the internal updates as he strategizes for the finish.
- HOU: Sunday Nov. 5 at Portland Timbers
- POR: Sunday Nov. 5 vs. Houston Dynamo