Santiago Moreno scored his second and third goals of the season and the 10-man Portland Timbers held on for a 2-1 victory over the visiting Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night.
Yimmi Chara was also heavily involved in both goals, earning a penalty kick for the first and contributing to the attack on the second as the Timbers (5-6-7, 22 points) completed back to back victories for the first time this season.
Portland defender Bill Tuiloma was sent off for his second yellow card offense in the 75th minute. However, the Timbers held on, helped by five saves from Aljaz Ivacic.
Darwin Quintero scored his team-leading seventh goal and his second in as many games for Houston (6-8-3, 21 points), which has lost three in a row on the road in a stretch dating back to late May.
Steve Clark made two saves in his first game back in Portland since departing from the Timbers to join the Dynamo in the offseason.
Houston were arguably the more aggressive side, outshooting Portland 24-11 overall and 6-4 in efforts on target, but partly because the visitors were playing from behind.
Moreno opened the scoring in the 34th minute from the penalty spot after Daniel Steres ran into the back of Chara near the penalty spot as Chara tried to control a cross.
It was Moreno’s first-ever penalty in any league match, either in his two seasons in MLS or his three before that in the Colombian first division.
The 22-year-old doubled Portland’s lead only two minutes later on the Timbers’ best combination play of the evening.
Sebastian Blanco, Chara and Eryk Williamson all combined before Moreno finished off the move with a cool, left-footed finish from about 14 yards out.
In the 65th minute, Quintero cut the visitors’ deficit in half on a gorgeous half-volley in transition.
Thorleifur Ulfarsson spotted the Colombian with an excellent long cross from the left. Quintero took the ball down with his first touch, then sliced a perfectly weighted shot with his second that bent over goalkeeper Ivacic and then under the crossbar.
–Field Level Media