Brian Fernandez had a dream debut for the Portland Timbers, coming off the bench to score his first MLS goal, a 77th-minute equalizer in a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
After both teams had early chances, Mauro Manotas opened the scoring four minutes from halftime with his seventh goal in seven regular season meetings against the Timbers. Alberth Elis latched onto a Memo Rodriguez corner kick and Manotas, who was left unmarked by Jorge Moreira, headed in off the post from the edge of the six-yard box.
Fernandez made his entrance in the 65th minute for Andy Polo and after firing over the crossbar in the 73rd minute, the Argentine Designated Player leveled four minutes later. Fernandez latched onto a long ball by Sebastian Blanco, took a touch and slipped past an onrushing Willis.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Dynamo will be disappointed not to take all three points after conceding a late equalizer, but they stretched an unbeaten streak at BBVA to seven matches (5-0-2), while the Timbers are now 0-15-9 (including playoffs) without Chara, who was suspended on yellow card accumulation, dating back to 2015.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It’s also the moment Timbers fans have been waiting for as soon as there were rumors of Fernandez’s arrival. Great ball by Blanco and good job by Fernandez to toe the offside line before scoring on his second touch.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Blanco was a menace throughout. He had 37 successful passes in the Dynamo’s half, had a shot glance off the crossbar in the first half, had three key passes and 21 successful passes in the final third and the critical assist on the Fernandez equalizer.