Portland Timbers 2, Houston Dynamo 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
In what was reportedly Fanendo Adi's final appearance in a Portland Timbers jersey, he made his substitute turn count by scoring the 80th-minute game winner in the hosts' 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night at Providence Park.
The Timbers scored in just the 7th minute of play, with Sebastian Blanco volleying in a cross across the face of goal courtesy of Alvas Powell. Five minutes later, though, Alberth Elis pounced on a Julio Cascante turnover and made a run to goal, setting up fellow Honduran Romell Quioto for a tap-in finish.
From there, the match became tighter and tenser, thanks in part to some excellent saves from Joe Willis to keep Timber Joey from revving up his chainsaw, and in part due to five yellow cards issued in the first half alone. Both coaches sought energy subs just prior to the 75th minute mark: Houston's Wilmer Cabrera opted for Luis Gil to spell Quioto, while the Timbers' Giovanni Savarese turned to Adi, which predictably amped up the crowd.
Six minutes later, the Adi move paid off, with a scramble in front of the Houston goal leading to Diego Valeri finding Adi for his 54th and likely final regular season goal in four-and-a-half green-clad seasons.
- 7' – POR – Sebastian Blanco | WATCH
- 12' – HOU – Romell Quioto | WATCH
- 80' – POR – Fanendo Adi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With the loss, Houston find themselves ninth in the West, though they're only six points off fourth place and four points off sixth. In what might ring a little familiar from last year's road woes, they've only managed one win in ten 2018 away matches so far. Portland vaulted into third with the win, in Adi's final contribution to the team . . . but in honoring his reported trade request, has the FO taken away a key player the team will need down the stretch? Or will Samuel Armenteros and company provide the goals they need to get them through the West?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Though the game-winner was the obvious game action choice, Adi subbing on was instant history, and Timbers fans will never forget the complex emotional rush as he took the Providence Park field as a Timber one last time.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Blanco was in contention for this honor, given his opening goal and the work he did in breaking down Houston's defense all match. But then Adi stepped on the field, seized the narrative, and made his last one count.