Dairon Asprilla scored in his third straight game and Modou Jadama laced a sublime free kick as T2 were able to overcome a one-goal halftime deficit to defeat the Real Monarchs, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Providence Park.
(Obligatory stadium progress note: The club is still putting the finishing touches on the new stand - a crew was literally working on hanging the “Providence Park” in the southeast corner during the match. But it will be fully open and ready to go for Saturday’s Timbers home opener against LAFC, and it is beautiful.)
Asprilla has a habit of turning up in the right place at the right time, and he did so again on Wednesday night. With T2 trailing 1-0, Asprilla found an overlapping Marco Farfan down the left wing. Farfan swung in a cross that was deflected at the front post and dropped to Marvin Loria at the back stick. Loria’s volley clanged off the post and fell perfectly to Asprilla, whose shot navigated the traffic on the goalline to tie the game. It was his team-leading sixth goal in just five games with T2 this season.
But it was the defender Jadama (who, by the way, has four goals himself this season) who stepped up to win it for the home side in the 70th minute. T2 were awarded a free kick from the center 23 yards out, and with most in the stadium expecting Loria to take with his left, Jadama struck a perfectly placed right-footer into the top corner.
T2 featured three changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with El Paso Locomotive, with Claude Dielna replacing Max Ornstil at center back, Ryan Sierakowski in for Brayan Hurtado on the wing and Timbers academy player Gio Calixtro starting over Foster Langsdorf.
All three of the changes wasted no time getting involved, as an even, back-and-forth first half yielded plenty of chances.
In the 13th minute, Loria slipped Sierakowski in on goal, but, though he managed to get past the Monarchs keeper, the 2019 SuperDraft pick overran the ball and wasn’t able to finish.
Ten minutes later, a slip from a Monarchs defender allowed Calixtro to sprint towards goal, but an impeccably timed sliding tackle (which had the home crowd screaming for a penalty, the first of two legitimate penalty shouts for Calixtro on the night) denied him a shot.
And even Dielna managed a scoring chance, heading high and wide from a Farfan cross in the 24th minute.
Despite a recent run of poor form, it was the visitors who struck first in the 37th min, as a short pass from Mastanabal Kacher found Douglas Martinez in the penalty area, and Martinez curled a right-footed shot into the far top corner, leaving Kendall McIntosh no chance and giving Real Monarchs a 1-0 lead.
T2 saw the bulk of the chances in the second half, which ultimately paid off in the form of two goals and three points. It was the team’s first come-from-behind victory at home this season, and it extended Real Monarchs’ winless streak to five games.
T2’s next match will be June 8 as Portland visits Austin Bold FC. Kickoff is at 5:30pm.