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Timbers' comeback bid falls short at Houston

HOUSTON - The Portland Timbers failed to overcome a two-goal, first-half deficit Sunday night as they dropped their MLS road match to the Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Former Timber Adam Moffat gave Houston the lead with a 35-yard blast in the 17th minute, and veteran Brian Ching scored 10 minutes later at Robertson Stadium.

Portland cut the gap on Jack Jewsbury's team-high seventh goal of the season in the 56th minute, but the Timbers couldn't convert any of their occasional chances down the stretch.

Portland fell to 0-10-3 when giving up the opening goal and 1-7-3 on the road this season.

The Timbers slipped to 7-11-5 (26 points), while Houston improved to 7-7-10 (31 points) before an announced crowd of 14,475.

Portland plays again on Wednesday, facing another road test at Sporting Kansas City at 5:30 p.m. PT.

The Timbers will be without defender Lovel Palmer, who drew a second-half caution, putting him under one-game league suspension for accumulation of yellow cards.

Also in the Houston match, forward Eddie Johnson returned to the Timbers lineup, only to exit in the 40th minute and wind up in a local hospital for observation of a possible concussion. Johnson had missed the previous two games with a concussion.