Despite how the match eventually played out, Las Vegas looked the better team in the opening minutes, creating a chance from a long throw-in early. From then on, however, it was mostly T2.
Newly signed central defender Roy Miller showed his first team experience in the back, stepping in to make several strong tackles and out-positioning Las Vegas’s attacking players to win any long balls sent his way. Even after Andres Flores surprisingly gave up possession in the fifth minute, Miller calmly stepped in to disrupt Vegas’s attack.
Miller’s early play helped the rest of the team gain confidence. Confidence which they used to score the match’s opening goal in the 10th minute. Modou Jadama played a long pass to Dairon Asprilla down the left side of the field. Asprilla beat Las Vegas fullback Kevin Garcia-Lopez and sprinted towards the endline where he played a hard, 45 degree cross along the ground to Foster Langsdorf who played a tidy finish into the right side netting. 1-0 T2.
T2 continued to control the pace of play, which, in the 15th minute, led to a slick one touch lunge-pass by Wharton to a darting Langsdorf who was brought down in the box for a penalty. Langsdorf stepped up to take the penalty, and played a hard shot low and down the center of the goal. Lights keeper Thomas Olsen dove to the left but managed to keep Langsdorf’s attempt out of goal with a kick save.
T2 were given another opportunity from the penalty spot after Langsdorf was once again taken down in the box in the 43rd minute. This time, however, Asprilla stepped up. And, as he is prone to do, he scored a penalty the only way he knows how: by hitting the ball as hard as humanly possible. 2-0.
The second half began similar to the first. Las Vegas’s forwards pressed T2’s backline, which, unlike the first half (they’re first shot on goal came in the 37th minute) created a handful of chances for the visitors. T2’s defense held strong, however, and it wasn’t until the 70th minute that Las Vegas defender Gabe Robinson scored a headed goal off a nicely delivered set piece by Christian Hernandez. 2-1.
The one goal difference didn’t last long. Just four minutes later, Asprilla scored what might be the greatest goal in Timbers 2 history. Ryan Sierakowski played a lob ball to Asprilla standing near the penalty spot. He took the pass off his chest and proceeded to bicycle kick the ball into the left upper 90. An absolutely absurd goal. 3-1.
T2 managed to control the remainder of the match, creating a few slim chances in the process. Ultimately, T2 couldn’t have asked for a better result in their home opener. Their next match will be played in Los Angeles against LA Galaxy II next Saturday on the 30th.