Adi’s 80th-minute goal leads Timbers over Dynamo 2-1
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Fanendo Adi tapped in a short-range goal during the 80th minute of his final match for Portland, and the Timbers extended their MLS unbeaten streak to 14 matches by beating the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Saturday night.
Adi, coming off the bench earlier in the second half, finished a close-in shot that had rebounded off two teammates.
Adi, with the Timbers since 2014, is second on Portland’s career list with 54 goals. The Timbers confirmed after the match this was Adi’s final game with Portland, but didn’t disclose details of a trade.
”It’s been amazing five years. I came as a young boy, but now I’m a grown man. There comes a time in life where you move on, but the Portland Timbers are always going to be a family to me,” Adi said.
Adi, who hadn’t suited up the previous two games, entered the match in the 75th minute.
”I told my wife before the game, Adi is going to come in and score, and it’s going to be a perfect day. You can sense it. You can feel it. He was ready. In the right moment he came in and gave us the victory,” Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said.
Sebastian Blanco scored a first-half goal for Portland (9-3-7). The Timbers moved into third place in the West with 34 points.
Portland won for the ninth time during its unbeaten streak. The Timbers haven’t lost since April 8, when they dropped a 3-2 decision to Orlando City.
Romell Quioto provided the lone goal for Houston (7-8-6). The Dynamo have won just once in 10 road games this season.
The Timbers outshot Houston 19-5.
”We tried to hold on, but we didn’t keep the ball and when you don’t keep the ball and you don’t stop the players – and they have very talented players -they punished us,” Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said.
Tied at 1-1, Portland set up the game winner when Blanco fired a pass into the middle. The ball was first shot by Andy Polo, then again off a rebound by Diego Valeri. Adi was in position for the second rebound, finishing a 5-yard shot to put the Timbers in front.
”I tried not to cry, but today the tears were almost falling down,” Adi said.
Portland controlled the second half, out-shooting Houston 10-2.
”I thought in the second half we pushed forward. We had more numbers in good areas to make sure we pushed them back,” Savarese said.
The Timbers took a 1-0 lead during the seventh minute on Blanco’s goal. Alvas Powell set up Blanco with a long cross, and the Portland midfielder finished with a 10-yard left-footed blast to the far post.
Houston countered five minutes later when Portland’s defense broke down. Alberth Ellis stole a ball just outside the box, and quickly crossed the ball. Timbers goalie Jeff Attinella appeared to have the ball stopped, but hesitated, and Quioto capitalized with an easy tap-in.
Midfielder Diego Chara returned to action for Portland after missing a game due to yellow card accumulation, but the Timbers were without forward Samuel Armenteros (back). Armenteros, tied for Timbers’ lead in goals with seven, has scored four goals in his past four games.
Both teams resume action next Saturday at home. Houston hosts Sporting KC, while the Timbers face Philadelphia.