USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 1, Switchbacks FC: 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their first game of a two-match home stand, T2 rallied as forward Kharlton Belmar scored a late-game equalizer to secure a 1-1 draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Merlo Field in the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season.

T2 (5-9-3, 18pts) found the equalizer in the 87th minute after Belmar pounced on a punched clearance by the Switchbacks FC goalkeeper Devala Gorrick and placed the ball into the back of the net.

Registering a 12-9 edge in shots in the first half, T2 pushed in search of an equalizer after Switchbacks FC (8-4-3, 27pts) opened the scoring in the 16th minute, receiving a goal from midfielder Luke Vercollone. Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh finished the match with five saves, including a tipped save over right post in the 9th minute on a long-range shot by forward Saeed Robinson from outside the box.

Midfielder Victor Arboleda, who tallied a game-high six shots, forced Gorrick into a save at the near post, driving down the right side of the box and firing a shot from a tight angle in the 11th minute, while his attempt from distance went just wide of the net in the 33rd minute.

Remaining on the attack in the second half, Belmar was provided with a number of chances. T2 midfielder Andre Lewis created another goal-scoring opportunity in the 71st minute when his cross inside the box found Belmar and his shot narrowly missed the target, while midfielder Neco Brett’s long-range effort in the 86th minute missed the net before Belmar leveled the match in the 87th minute.

Next up, T2 will play host to LA Galaxy II on Saturday, July 16, at Merlo Field; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific). The July 16 match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.

Postgame Quote Sheet

T2 head coach Andrew Gregor
Overall impressions of the match…
“I thought the effort late was the standard of what we expect around here at this club. I didn’t think we started the game well. I thought it was our poorest start of the year, but that ultimately falls back on how we prepared them as a staff. We need to do a better job of preparing them for the game. You are always going to be in trouble when you give up the first goal. We did that here at home and it was a fight the rest of the time. Give a little bit of credit to Colorado as far as how they wanted to play from there on out and they did a good job and we got a lucky one late. It’s difficult result to go ahead and take.

On the differences in the first and second half…
“I think it was again the preparations and how the guys came out ready to play. I didn’t think they came out ready to play and again the falls on us as a staff that we do a better job of making them ready to play. The opportunities we did create there were some halfway decent ones, but some of them just don’t seem to being going in for us right now and that’s just the way this game works. So we continue to move forward and that’s where you have to make sure you fall back on all the little things. The start of the game and not being good enough is a little thing that makes a big difference and we didn’t do a good job of that.

On the performance of Kharlton Belmar…
“I thought he did well today. It’s good to see him get back on the scoresheet. We talked he’s been struggling a little bit in front of net and it was good to see the goal he got tonight. That’s a striker’s goal. Something where a goalie makes a mistake, ball falls down and he’s the first one to react to get it. Hopefully that’s going to get him moving in the right direction. That’s how strikers go and his effort was good as always. Hopefully we can get him going in the right direction.”

On how you can build off this effort going forward…
“We just have to learn from it. That’s the important thing. Players have to learn from the game and learn how to manage these situations especially here. I thought Colorado really kind of packed it in the second half. They were ahead 1-0 so give them credit for that. We are going to have to learn to break teams down like that. We want to be the sort of team that is on the front foot attacking and putting teams under pressure, but we know they are going to drop back again so we have to find a way to unlock them. And at times I thought we did ok with and at other times we were a little bit too inpatient. So we have to learn from it and watch video on it a move forward.”

T2 forward Kharlton Belmar
Overall impressions of the match…
“I felt like we came out a little bit slow. We could have come out with a little bit more energy. Colorado came out strong and it was a little bit difficult to match that at first, but we worked our way back into the game. I felt we had a couple of good chances and were able to get one at the end. It was unlucky not to get the win. We got a point, so we keep going from there.”

On his goal tonight…
“It’s been a couple of games. As a striker you hate to go a couple of games without scoring, but it’s good to get back on the scoresheet and help the team.”

On building on this result…
“It’s positive. We’ve lost the last couple of games, so it’s good to get a point and hopefully build some momentum from our performance towards the end of the game and take into the next game against LA and hopefully get three points there.”

T2 defender Marco Farfan
Overall impressions of the match…
“We gave up a poor goal. A mistake in the back by us, but we kept on fighting and pushed through and got goal. It brought us back to get a point, but it wasn’t enough to get three points.”

On the differences between the first and second half…
“I feel like the Switchbacks sat back in the second half, making it harder for us to play through them. In the first half they were pressing us, making it easier for us to play through them and create chances.”

On playing with T2 as one of the younger players…
“It’s great getting this experience and being able to play with bigger, faster and smarter guys and competitively for me to develop.”

T2 (5-9-3, 18pts) vs. CS Switchbacks FC (8-4-3, 27pts) 
July 7, 2016 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                                      1          2          F
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC     1          0          1
T2                                                       0          1           1

Scoring Summary
COS: Vercollone, 16
POR: Belmar, 87

Misconduct Summary
POR: Farfan (Caution), 19
POR: Gallagher (Caution), 81

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK McIntosh, D Klute, D Clarke ©, D Gallagher, D Farfan, M Lewis, M Casiple, M Arboleda (Bodily, 90), M Polk (Bijev, 67), M Brett, F Belmar

Substitutes Not Used: GK Luthy, D Morley, D Thoma, F Calixtro, M Anguiano

TOTAL SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 5

COS: GK Gorrick, D Suggs, D Greenspan, D Ibeagha, D Armstrong, M Argueta, M Vercollone © (Harada, 90), M Kim (Greer, 90), F Gonzalez, F Seth (Maybin, 77), F Robinson

Substitutes Not Used: GK Thompson, M Robinson, F King, D Burt

TOTAL SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 3

Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brooks, Jason Perlewitz
4th Official: CJ Koll
Attendance: 1,630
Weather: Showers, 64 degrees

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