PORTLAND — Jeremy Ebobisse scored in the 84th minute and the Portland Timbers beat FC Dallas 1-0 on Saturday night before the first capacity crowd of the season at Providence Park.
Ebobisse’s goal was the 300th for the Timbers (5-6-1) at their downtown stadium. It came on a night when the Timbers were allowed a full crowd for the first time since last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To be honest I didn’t know it was the 300th goal,” Ebobisse said following the match. “It’s a goal that led to three points ultimately and that’s what’s most important to me.”
It was Ebobisse’s third goal in four games. Steve Clark made three saves to help Portland snap a two-game losing streak.
Despite several early chances for both sides, including a promising shot from Timbers forward Dairon Asprilla saved by Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the 45th minute, the match remained scoreless through the first half.
Maurer signed a new two-year contract with a club option for 2024, the team announced Friday.
Dallas (2-6-5) won the last meeting between the teams, 4-1 on May 1.
The Timbers were playing without Eryk Williamson, who is with the U.S. national team for the Gold Cup. Claudio Bravo is with Argentina’s under-23 team for the Tokyo Olympics. But Yimmi Chara and Felipe Mora returned after the Copa America with their international teams.
Dallas was without midfielder Bryan Acosta, who is on international leave with Honduras in the Gold Cup. Franco Jara made his first start since May up top.
“It’s really disappointing to work so hard and for the boys to leave everything on the field, and to come up short” FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzales said after the game “A point would have been positive. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to be ready for our preparation. And if we can show that performance, home or away, with that commitment and energy and fight. Then I know it’s a matter of time before the points do bounce our way. “
Diego Valeri came off the bench in the 65th minute to replace Mora at forward. Sebastian Blanco filled in for Dairon Asprilla in the 81st minute. Blanco has not started a match since recovering from an injury sustained last season.
“I thought that they did give us a lift,” Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark said regarding the second-half substitutions. “I think we were grinding them down all throughout the game and then it was a perfect time for those players with their quality to come in and it was much needed.”
Dallas will face the Colorado Rapids in Denver on Wednesday night. The Timbers host LAFC the same night.