REDMOND, Wash. — The Portland Timbers U-23s faced off against Washington Crossfire for the first time during the 2014 PDL season earning a 2-2 draw on the road Thursday night at Redmond High School in Redmond, Wash.
The Timbers U-23s (1-4-3, 6pts), playing their third consecutive road match, opened the scoring in the 34th minute of the match. Following a short corner kick, forward Ben Strong sent in a cross from the top of the box to midfielder Nolan Moore as he tallied his first goal of the season putting Portland in front, 1-0.
Portland doubled its lead just four minutes before halftime on a goal by forward Kharlton Belmar. Midfielder Fatai Alashe played a long through ball from Portland’s defensive half of the field for Belmar to run onto, scoring his team-leading third goal of the season.
Washington Crossfire (1-2-4, 7pts) scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to salvage a point, including scoring the game-tying goal in the final minute of play.
Timbers U-23s forward Miguel Aguilar and Strong both created chances throughout the match that resulted in multiple saves. In the second half, the Crossfire goalkeeper denied Belmar on consecutive attempts making back-to-back, point-blank saves while midfielder Omar Holness saw a shot in the 73rd minute tipped wide by the goalkeeper.
Portland plays its final match of a four-game road stretch on Sunday, June 15, in Tumwater, Wash. against Seattle Sounders FC U23 at Tumwater High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (Pacific).
Notes: The Timbers U-23s improved to 4-6-2 all-time against Washington Crossfire with the draw… Alashe and Strong tallied their first assists of the season on Thursday … Portland has scored first in 11 of 13 matches against Washington Crossfire all-time dating back to 2009.