Timbers 2 made a valiant effort to bring home more points from their difficult 4 game road trip. But tonight they were handed their first loss. At the hands of a rival no less. It was still a decent performance from T2 that had them getting at least a point out of this all the way until the 87th minute. And that is considering a mere 3 night turnaround from a match at altitude where the team spent the entire second half defending for their lives.
In the first half, T2 opened the scoring in the 29th minute by a Harrison Delbridge header. The assist went to Blair Gavin who stood over the free kick and sent it in with pinpoint accuracy. Delbridge was right there and made no mistake to put T2 up 1-0.
S2 equalized right after the start of the second half. In the 48th minute Rundell Winchester made a solid run up the right side taking two S2 players out of the equation, but eventually had the ball taken from his feet near the top right of the box in the S2 end. The very long ball that S2 immediately sent back in the other direction found Andy Craven who turned and ran into the box. Unfortunately he was taken down and the assistant ref waved his flag for a foul. After a few seconds of probably talking on their headsets the center ref awarded S2 with a penalty kick (while the announcers immediately started shouting "Give it to him! Give it! Give it!" once Craven went down). Pablo Rossi stepped up and struck a hard fast shot straight into the top left corner to put the game level in the 49th minute. Gleeson guessed the correct direction but no one could've saved this kick.
The only substitution the T2 team made (remember: they played just 3 nights ago) was in the 64th minute when Steven Evans came on for Nick Besler. After this point the game slowly started to open up as both teams tried to get the game winner. By about the 80th minute it was a complete end to end affair. Gleeson made a fingertip touch on a cross/shot to get the ball to bounce off the post. And that was almost immediately followed up by S2 keeper Lyon denying Belmar an easy and open shot on target.
Unfortunately, the normally stout T2 defense would not be able to hold out for the full 90 again. Giving up more than one goal for the first time ever, they conceded the game winner in the 87th minute. Another long ball was sent forward, and again, Andy Craven found himself on the end of it. He popped the ball over the defense onto S2 player Frano who one touch chips Gleeson and finds the ball in the back of the net for the eventual game winner.
The result puts S2 (3-0-0) tied with Arizona United for top of the USL West Conference. All of Arizona United's wins have come on the road while all of S2's wins have come at home (with tons of rest in between). Credit to the T2 defense as S2 were not allowed to have another game of putting 4 goals past an opponent. Unfortunately the S2 offense ended up being just a tad bit stronger than the T2 defense. T2 with their first loss (2-1-1) now have a week to rest before traveling south to face Sacramento Republic again, next Saturday night at 7:30pm in Sacramento.
Top Three Performers
Harrison Delbridge: Scored the opening goal and was mostly solid in defense throughout the evening. Timely tackles and blocks helped keep S2 off the board outside of a PK he didn't concede and a cheeky chip that there wasn't much you could do to prevent.
Blair Gavin: Provided the assist on the goal and was pretty solid in midfield throughout the evening. Taking all the FKs and providing accurate service to maximize every dead ball opportunity. He also did well to help T2 not lose the midfield battle.
Rundell Winchester: His attacking penetration down the right side was some of the only good things to see out of the attack tonight. Just couldn't get any support when he went forward. Didn't look as tired as other players were out there (but tired players is understandable, why the lineup wasn't changed more or more than one substitution were made is a bit shocking)