OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Playing in their fourth road match of the season, T2 scored three second-half goals to overcome a two-goal deficit at halftime to defeat OKC Energy FC 3-2 at Taft Stadium on Saturday night. Zach Kobayashi and Brayan Hurtado each tallied a goal to even the game, while Ryan Sierakowski scored the game-winning goal – his first as a professional – in stoppage time. Midfielder Eryk Williamson recorded one assist, his fifth of the season.
Hurtado, Kobayashi and Sierakowski each scored their first goals of the 2019 USL season, and their first as members of T2. Hurtado and Sierakowski started their second and third matches for T2, respectively, while Kobayashi came off the bench to score his first career goal with Portland.
Portland against OKC Energy FC
With the victory, T2 moved to 4-4-0 in eight all-time matches against OKC Energy FC (2-2-1, 7pts), including a 3-1-0 record in Oklahoma City. The match on Saturday marked the first of two regular-season matches between the two teams, as they will face each other again at Providence Park on Friday, August 16.
In four road matches this season, Portland has a record of 2-1-1, tallying nine goals. T2 are now 6-2-3 in their last 11 road contests, dating back to July 28, 2018.
OKC Energy FC took the lead in the 22nd minute after defender Mike da Fonte headed home a cross from a corner kick delivery by forward Alexy Bosetti. OKC doubled its lead three minutes later when forward Cordell Cato’s left-footed shot from the left side of the six-yard box proved unreachable to goalkeeper Jake Leeker.
T2 midfielder Todd Wharton tried to bring Portland closer in the 38th minute with a right-footed shot from outside the box, but his attempt went high and wide to the left of the goal. Portland earned a penalty kick in the 50th minute, after Marco Farfan was fouled inside the box, but Renzo Zambrano's attempt went over the crossbar.
Down 2-0, Portland began the comeback in the 68th minute after Arturo Diz Pe filtered a through ball right outside the box to Hurtado, who finished with a powerful left-footed shot to the upper middle of the goal.
T2 equalized the match in the 79th minute after Zambrano found a well-positioned Kobayashi, who then advanced between two defenders before shooting with his right foot from outside the box to find the bottom left corner of the goal.
Portland scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time off a counter-attacking play when defender Nathan Smith sent Sierakowski a long ball from his end of the field, before he dribbled one defender and placed his left-footed shot from just inside the 18-yard box past goalkeeper Cody Laurendi, earning his first professional goal.
Next up, T2 play host to Sacramento Republic FC at Merlo Field on Saturday, April 13. Beginning at 5 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles
On coming back from a 2-0 score at halftime…
“Considering the score line in the first half, our performance hadn’t been terrible. We were punished in a few moments, but we knew that if we made a few changes we could get ourselves back into the game.”
On motivating his players to fight for a comeback…
“It was several things. First, the character of the players themselves and the motivation that they had within themselves to keep digging and to keep fighting in that moment. And then it was (assistant coach) Andrew Gregor, who made a suggestion on how we could change our shape to potentially get ourselves some more opportunities and to free up some players on the ball, and that went well.”
On Hurtado’s, Kobayashi’s and Sierakowski’s first goals of the season…
“I couldn’t be happier for those guys. They’ve worked really hard and there are different things; Ryan is in his first professional season, Brayan is coming in and adjusting to a new country, a new culture and a new team, and Zach has just come back from injury. Three guys that worked really hard and three goals that were very well-taken.”
On the team’s resilience…
“It’s a real credit to the players to dig deep and keep fighting, especially considering missing that penalty. It would have been easier for them to hang their heads, but they kept pushing and kept fighting and worked until they scored that winning goal, so much credit to the players.”
T2 (3-1-1, 10pts) at OKC Energy FC (2-2-1, 7pts)
April 6, 2019 – Taft Stadium (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 0 3 3
OKC Energy FC 2 0 2
OKC: da Fonte (Bosetti), 22
OKC: Cato (Ibeagha), 25
POR: Hurtado (Williamson), 68
POR: Kobayashi (Zambrano), 79
POR: Sierakowski (Smith), 90+1
POR: Diz Pe (Caution), 5
OKC: Williams (Caution), 55
OKC: Ross (Caution), 87
POR: GK Leeker, D Hanson (Smith, 77), D Diz Pe, D Jadama, , D Farfan, M Wharton (Kobayashi, 45), M Zambrano ©, M Sierakowski, M Williamson, M Hurtado, F Calixtro (Ornstil, 90+4)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Sulte, D, M Akale, M Anguiano, M Ojeda
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Sierakowski, Williamson, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 12 (Sierakowski, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 0
OKC: GK Laurendi, D Ibeagha, D Harris©, D da Fonte, D Williams, M R. Garcia, F Bosetti (Bustos, 65), D Ross, F Gordon, F Eissele, F Cato
Substitutes Not Used: GK Byars, D Hyland, D Sasivarevic, M Okot, M J. Garcia
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Four players tied, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (da Fonte, Cato, 1) FOULS: 15 (Ibeagha, 4); OFFSIDES:2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 0
Referee: Elton Garcia
Assistant Referees: Seth Barton, Matt Trotter
4th Official: Sina Kashef
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial