PORTLAND, Ore. – Defenders Kyle Fisher and David Rose each registered first-half goals, but the Portland Timbers U-23s conceded the decisive goal in the final minute of second-half stoppage time in a hard-fought, 3-2 loss against USL PRO side Arizona United SC in the second round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Providence Park.
Playing in their first match of 2014, the Timbers U-23s, members of the Premier Development League, grabbed a 2-0 lead at halftime on set-piece goals from Fisher and Rose. Fisher, a defender from Clemson University, provided the Timbers U-23s with an early lead in the 11th minute, rising to head a free kick from midfielder Jesse Garcia-Aguilar past Arizona United SC goalkeeper Evan Newton.
Rose doubled Portland’s advantage moments before halftime when his free kick from the right flank found its way through a crowd in front of goal and settled inside the far left post in the 45th minute.
The Timbers U-23s, who were making their third consecutive appearance in the U.S. Open Cup, did well to absorb pressure from Arizona United SC for much of the second half before the USL PRO side cut into Portland’s lead with a goal in the 84th minute. Forward Kadeem Dacres saw his initial attempt from inside the box blocked, but the rebound bounced directly into his path and he slotted the ball inside the far right post to trim Portland’s lead to 2-1.
Four minutes later, substitute forward London Woodberry tallied the equalizer for Arizona United SC, converting from close range following a scramble in the penalty box. Defender Daniel Antunez netted the game-winner for Arizona in the fifth, and final minute, of second-half stoppage time, finishing a headed pass from forward Jon Okafor after Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Justin Luthy had saved Okafor’s initial effort.
Luthy finished with six saves in the match, while three members of the Timbers U-18 Academy team saw action Tuesday night. Garcia-Aguilar, who tallied an assist on Portland’s open goal, played 90 minutes, while forward Foster Langsdorf logged 81 minutes and substitute forward Anthony Machionne earned nine minutes off the bench.
The Timbers U-23s, who matched Arizona on shots in the first half, 7-7, nearly found a third goal before halftime off another set piece, but forward Kharlton Belmar sent a strong header just over the crossbar in the 45th minute.
The Timbers U-23s open their sixth PDL season on Thursday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 in a special Providence Health & Fitness Kids Day match at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (Pacific).
Notes: Tuesday’s match marked the third consecutive U.S. Open Cup appearance for the Timbers U-23s … Portland fell 1-0 in the second round of the 2013 U.S. Open Cup to USL PRO side Charleston Battery, while Tuesday’s match against Arizona United SC marked the second straight year the Timbers U-23s have faced a USL PRO club in the tournament … Three members of the Timbers U-18 Academy team saw action on Tuesday as midfielder Jesse Garcia-Aguilar and forward Foster Langsdorf started the match; forward Anthony Machionne came on as a substitute in the 81st minute … Timbers defender defender Bryan Gallego, who is on loan with Arizona United SC, started and played 90 minutes … Gallego is now cup-tied to Arizona for the remainder of its matches in the U.S. Open Cup and cannot play for the Timbers first team during the tournament.
POR: K. Fisher (Garcia-Aguilar), 11
POR: Rose, 45
AZU: Dacres, 84
AZU: Woodberry, 88
AZU: Antunez (Okafor), 90+5
AZ: Dacres (Caution), 26
POR: Ribas (Caution), 28
POR: K. Fisher (Caution), 44
POR: Alashe (Caution), 51
AZ: Antunez (Caution), 75
AZ: Okafor (Caution), 90+5
POR: GK Justin Luthy, D Louis Cross, D Kyle Fisher, D David Rose, D Devon Fisher, M Fatai Alashe ©, M Jose Ribas, M Jesse Garcia-Aguilar, M Sam Gainford (Kenny Cunningham, 67), F Kharlton Belmar (Miguel Aguilar, 71), F Foster Langsdorf (Anthony Machionne, 81)
Subs Not Used: GK Brendan Moore, F Zach Hamer
AZU: GK Evan Newton, D Tyler Ruthven, D Daniel Antunez ©, D Bryan Gallego, D Scott Morrison (Joseph Toby, 69), M Joey Dillon (Widner Saint-Cyr, 82), M Paolo DelPiccolo, M Bradlee Baladez, F Jon Okafor, F Kadeem Dacres, F Brandon Swartzendruber (London Woodberry, 60)
Subs Not Used: GK Jacole Turner, D Devon Grousis, M Jose Ramos, M Charles Renken