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T2 salvage last-gasp draw against visiting Tulsa Roughnecks

T2 rescue a hard earned point after stoppage time drama culminates in 98th minute penalty

Matthew Wolfe

Portland Timbers II 1, Tulsa Roughnecks 1-2019 USL Match Recap

Portland Timbers 2 salvaged a draw in the most dramatic of fashions on Saturday night, in a tense, often gritty affair against the visiting Tulsa Roughnecks. The match rested at a simmer for the majority of the evening, but exploded into life in the final minutes, as T2 skipper Todd Wharton’s 98th minute penalty cancelled out an early Rodrigo da Costa finish.

Portland began the match brightly, with Cristian Ojeda drawing a 2nd minute yellow card on Tulsa’s Matt Rodgers. However, Ojeda’s subsequent free kick would be reflective of the majority of T2’s chances throughout the match, as he sent his curling effort just wide of the post. After further narrow misses from Brayan Hurtado and Giovanni Calixtro, it was Tulsa who, against the run of play, would find the breakthrough in the 13th minute. Cristhian Altamirano’s lofted cross to the back post found a wide open da Costa, who roofed his first time effort past the onrushing Aljaz Ivacic, for his sixth goal of the campaign.

Chances remained at a premium for the remainder of the first period, as Portland’s sustained possession amounted to little in the way of clear-cut opportunities in the final third. The Roughnecks, for their part, were arguably the more goal-dangerous of the two sides, contenting themselves with creating opportunities off the counter and on set-pieces.

The second period would continue where the first left off, with play increasingly being bogged down by a chippy Tulsa side who used every weapon available to slow the game down and disrupt the flow of T2’s attack.

Finally, in the 79th minute, Portland’s dominance began to show signs of paying off, as a Roy Miller cross was met by a leaping Hurtado, whose goal-bound, well-struck bicycle kick was blocked by Brayan Reyes. The Roughnecks refused to give into the pressure though, as, just three minutes later, Calvin Rezende, making his debut for the Oklahoma outfit, found himself in a nice pocket of space twenty yards from goal, but his low, driven effort was well saved by Ivacic.

Tempers began to flare in the 90th minute, when Reyes was sent off with his second caution card of the match. Referee Marco Vega appeared content to issue only a foul after Jeff Addai brought down Carlos Anguiano near midfield, but had clearly had enough of Tulsa’s time wasting and sent Reyes to the showers early after he kicked the dead ball away.

T2 nearly equalized just after, as Hurtado found himself on the end of another chance. Tulsa goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar’s botched clearance was recycled into the box by Harold Hanson, but Hurtado’s looping header sailed just wide of the goal.

Ultimately, Portland would not be denied, as they were awarded a penalty in the 96th minute after Tulsa substitute Fredlin Mompremier was shown a straight red card for a reckless, studs up challenge on T2 defender Nathan Smith in the box. Wharton was not distracted by the heated emotions of the moment, and after a nearly two minute delay, he calmly stepped to the spot and, with the final kick of the night, slotted home to give Portland a much deserved point on the night.

Looking ahead, both teams return to action in a week’s time, with Tulsa traveling to Colorado Springs to take on fellow Western Conference basement dwellers, the Colorado Switchbacks, while T2 will head south to meet Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday, July 13th.