PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Ryan Johnson scored two goals and the Portland Timbers beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0 Saturday night for their first win of the season.
Johnson, a forward acquired from Toronto in the offseason, scored goals in the 55th and 73rd minutes as the Timbers came alive in the second half to beat the Dynamo for the first time in their three-year history. Portland (1-1-4) had lost the previous three matches.
Houston (3-2-1) is winless in two matches on the road this season. The Dynamo, runners-up for the MLS cup in 2011 and 2012, had five shots to Portland's one in the first half, as every member of the Houston front line and midfield had an attempt. However, in the second half, the Timbers controlled the play.
Johnson scored his second goal of the season on an assist from Diego Chara, and then celebrated by throwing his head back and sticking out his tongue to catch rain drops as he jogged back down the field.
The Timbers had a golden opportunity to follow up just minutes later, but Rodney Wallace's blast caromed off the right post. Johnson set up Darlington Nagbe for what would have been a sure goal, but Nagbe couldn't catch up with the ball as it sailed through the goal box.
It didn't matter. Johnson sealed things by breaking away in the 73rd minute and blasting a shot past Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall into the top right corner of the net.
Houston's best shot in the second half was on a blast in the 90th minute by Omar Cummings that was deflected by Portland keeper Donovan Ricketts.
Portland had nine shots in the second half to Houston's four.
It didn't start well for Portland. With a cold, driving rain prevailing and the aggressive Dynamo drawing the ire of the Timbers Army, a chippy atmosphere took hold. Injuries required the Timbers to make two first-half substitutions for the first time in their history.
Diego Valeri left the field in the 25th minute after taking an elbow to the face from Jermaine Taylor, which left a gash near his eye. Before that, Portland center back David Horst was taken off on a stretcher in the 15th minute with a right knee injury. Horst had missed the first three games of the season with a groin issue before returning March 30.
Houston's Adam Moffat left in the second half after colliding with Chara.