EDINBURG, Texas – In the first of three consecutive games on the road, T2 defeated Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 1-0 at Toro Stadium on Saturday night to earn their second consecutive win.
Defender Brent Richards netted his first goal of the season for T2 (9-14-4, 31pts) in the 61st minute, while T2 posted their fifth shutout of the season to snap Rio Grande Valley’s (12-6-9, 45pts) 10-game unbeaten run. With his goal, Richards is now the 13th different player to score for T2 this season.
After taking a shot that rebounded off a Toros defender, Richards’ follow-up strike from outside the 18-yard box beat Rio Grande Valley goalkeeper Callum Irving and found its way into the lower left corner of the net for the game’s lone goal.
T2 threatened early in the first half from a corner kick when midfielder Dylan Damraoui’s delivery fell to Richards and his right-footed effort went wide of the target in the 13th minute. Portland continued to apply pressure when forward Augustine Williams played a back-heeled ball that made its way to midfielder Neco Brett, whose curling shot was punched aside by Irving for a T2 corner kick in the 33rd minute.
T2 goalkeeper Wade Hamilton finished the match with four saves on the way to recording his second shutout of the 2016 campaign, included a save on Toros forward Ruben Luna’s right-footed effort from outside the box in the 21st minute. After making a save on Rio Grande Valley forward Dzenan Catic, Hamilton punted the ball up field to midfielder Victor Arboleda. After speeding by his defender, Arboleda found himself inside the box and his right-footed effort missed the target.
Defending the lead, Richards came up with a timely block on Toros forward Memo Rodriguez’s shot from inside the box in the 71st minute. Late in the match, Hamilton recorded successive stops on midfielder Eric Bird’s effort in the 89th minute and a stop on Catic’s long-range strike in the 90th minute to preserve the lead.
Next up, T2 will travel to face Arizona United SC at Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday, Sept. 13; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The Sept. 13 match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Andrew Gregor
On his overall thoughts on the match…
“I thought we played a solid game away from home. At times, I thought we defended well. In the attack, I thought we created some good opportunities. Overall, for us to pull out the victory against a good Rio Grande team is big for this group. It’s important to go on the road and get a win and it’s important for us to win a game 1-0. I thought that was big for the guys tonight and very well deserved for them too. They put in a good, solid game.”
On defender Brent Richard’s goal and his play this season…
“Brent is an honest player. On the goal tonight… He’s not afraid to shoot the ball and he’s had opportunities this year where he’s hit some good balls. It paid off for him tonight. With that honesty, he had a little bit of time earlier in the year and then was out of the team for a while. He was a good pro and took care of himself. He kept himself fit and was focused. Once he got his opportunity again to play, he’s done well with it. That’s all the credit to Brent and him being a good pro.”
On building off of tonight’s performance…
“We’re fighting for our lives right now with three games to go. You take it a game at a time and obviously this should give us a lot of confidence to go in and win anywhere, but it’s always going to be difficult down in Arizona. They’ve got some talented players and a good team and they’re very well coached. It’s going to be difficult to go down there, but we’ve got three games left and we’re fighting for our lives to try and sneak into the playoffs and we’ll be focused and ready to go on Tuesday.”
T2 (9-14-4, 31pts) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (12-6-9, 45pts)
Sept. 10, 2016 – Toro Stadium (Edinburg, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 0 1 1
Rio Grande Valley 0 0 0
POR: Richards, 60
POR: Damraoui (Caution), 45
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Hamilton, D Richards, D Clarke, D Morley, D Thoma (Gallagher, 90), M Lewis, M Damraoui (Besler, 61), M Arboleda, M Bijev (Casiple, 81), M Brett, F Williams (Belmar, 81)
Substitutes Not Used: GK McIntosh, M Bodily, F Polk
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
RGV: GK Irving, D Hunter, D Malki (K. Garcia, 45), D Magalhaes, D Greene, M Ward, M Bird, M E. Garcia (Lucatero, 83), M Rodriguez, F Luna (Catic, 68), F Casner (James, 68)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Sanchez, GK Perales, F Murphy
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 1
Referee: Tyler Mitcham
Assistant Referees: Angel Saavedra Cisneros, Ricardo Mercado Jr.
4th Official: Gregorio Garza
Weather: Clear, 85 degrees