SATURDAY MLS RECAP/Improved play from Timbers, but FC Dallas wins 2-1 as controversial non-calls twice deny Portland PK claims

The woes continue for the Portland Timbers.

But unlike a week ago in a dismal loss at San Jose, the Timbers were the better team for much of the second half of a 2-1 Saturday loss at FC Dallas.

And, Portland will feel hard done by referee Marcos de Oliveira, who twice failed to award Timbers penalty kicks — including a stoppage time hand ball that he declined to enforce after reviewing the video.

Cristhian Paredes scored the Portland goal in the 67th minute, converting a diving header off a nifty cross from Sebastian Blanco.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Timbers, who reached the midpoint of their 12-match away stretch to open the season with one tie and five losses.

FC Dallas improved to 4-2-1.

Jesus Ferreira scored an opportunistic goal in the ninth minute for the home team. A Dallas pass attempt deflected off the knee of Portland's Diego Chara and into the path of Ferreira, who split two defenders and broke cleanly in on goal.

Dallas' second goal was a penalty kick in the 60th minute converted by Reto Ziegler. The foul against Portland right back Jorge Moreira came after a cross from Dallas winger Michael Barrios forced Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella to stop a clearing attempt by Portland's Larrys Mabiala from becoming an own goal.

In the 75th minute, Portland striker Jeremy Ebobisse was shoved in the back by Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead as he went up to head a Blanco delivery. The close-range header went wide as Ebobisse fell to the turf.

That play was not reviewed.

In stoppage time, a Bill Tuiloma header bounced off Hollingshead's left arm, which was extended from the defender's body.

Oliveira waved off Portland's calls for a penalty kick. After some extended play, the video referee suggested Olivera review the play. After looking at the play for about a minute, Olivera decided not to award a PK.

Portland had other chances in a strong second-half push, including a Tuiloma header from a Diego Valeri free kick that bounced right to goalkeeper Jose Gonzalez.

In the 89th minute, Gonzalez denied a Valeri shot and in stoppage time Dairon Asprilla's chance from a tight angle was handled by the Dallas keeper.

Valeri and Asprilla each entered for the final 20 minutes, Valeri held out of the starting lineup because of a knock in training during the week.

Both teams finished with 13 shots at goal and Portland had a 6-5 edge in shots on goal in the run of play.

Attinella made two quality saves in the first half, both denying Barrios shots as FCD was the better side for most of the first 45 minutes.

Barrios also created a chance that should have put Dallas ahead 2-0 in the 31st minute. But Pablo Aranguiz's shot from 12 yards in front of goal sailed well high.

Portland did not create any scoring chances in the first half. Gonzalez made one save on a shot from Andres Flores.

Next for the Timbers is a 4:30 p.m. Saturday visit to Columbus. The Crew are coached by former Timbers coach Caleb Porter and are one of the top teams in the MLS Eastern Conference.

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