PORTLAND — Santiago Moreno scored a pair of goals in the space of two minutes in the first half and the Portland Timbers hung on to beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Darwin Quintero scored a second-half goal for the Dynamo, who have not won in Portland since 2011.
“We had a amazing first half. And then we have to always make it hard for ourselves. You know, we are our own worst enemy,” Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic said. “Instead of putting (the) game away 3-0 or 4-0, it was 2-1 and then we struggled at the end. But the most important is that we got the win and that’s it.”
Yimmi Chara was brought down in the box, giving Portland a penalty kick in the 34th minute. Moreno converted for a 1-0 lead.
“I felt very confident,” Moreno said through a translator. “Any time I have a chance like that I feel very comfortable that I will score.”
Just moments later, Moreno beat Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark with a left-footed shot for his third goal of the season. It was his first career two-goal game.
Moreno nearly had a hat trick in the 63rd minute but Clark stopped it at the right post. Clark, who played for the Timbers from 2018 until last year, made his 200th career MLS appearance.
The Timbers (5-6-7) have never had a player score a hat trick in an MLS match.
Houston (6-8-3) narrowed the deficit in the 65th minute on Quintero’s arcing shot from outside the box. It was his seventh goal of the year.
“I think the general feeling is right now that we deserved more. We know this is a good team at home, but I felt like the way the game played out, I think we we deserved to at least to get tie here,” said Houston defender Adam Lundqvist said.
The Dynamo were coming off a 2-0 victory at home over the Chicago Fire on Saturday. The win snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Timbers defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Saturday to snap a four-game winless streak.
There were nine yellow cards handed out in the match, which was chippy at times. Portland’s Bill Tuiloma was sent off after his second yellow in the 75th.
TIMBERS 2, DYNAMO 1
First Half—1, Portland, Moreno, 2 (penalty kick), 34th minute; 2, Portland, Moreno, 3 (Chara), 36th.
Second Half—3, Houston, Quintero, 7 (Ulfarsson), 65th.
Goalies—Houston, Steve Clark, Michael Nelson; Portland, Aljaz Ivacic, David Bingham.
Yellow Cards—Blanco, Portland, 17th; Rodriguez, Houston, 21st; Zuparic, Portland, 27th; Zeca, Houston, 34th; Moreno, Portland, 42nd; Hadebe, Houston, 44th; Tuiloma, Portland, 54th; Vera, Houston, 68th; Williamson, Portland, 72nd.
Referee—Lukasz Szpala. Assistant Referees—Ian Anderson, Chris Elliott, Jose Carlos Rivero. 4th Official—Silviu Petrescu.
Houston—Steve Clark; Teenage Hadebe, Adam Lundqvist, Daniel Steres, Zeca; Adalberto Carrasquilla, Darwin Ceren (Fafa Picault, 77th), Memo Rodriguez (Darwin Quintero, 58th), Thorleifur Ulfarsson, Matias Vera; Sebastian Ferreira.
Portland—Aljaz Ivacic; Claudio Bravo, Bill Tuiloma, Jose Van Rankin, Dario Zuparic; Sebastian Blanco (Dairon Asprilla, 61st), Diego Chara, Santiago Moreno (Zac McGraw, 82nd), Eryk Williamson (David Ayala, 78th); Yimmi Chara (Larrys Mabiala, 78th), Jaroslaw Niezgoda (Felipe Mora, 61st).