PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their third home match of the 2019 USL Championship season, T2 registered a 2-2, come-from-behind draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Merlo Field on Saturday evening. Foster Langsdorf scored a second-half brace to help T2 remain undefeated at home and extend their unbeaten run to three matches.
With the win, T2 improved to 4-1-2 in their first seven games in 2019. Portland is unbeaten in its last three matches (2-0-1) dating back April 6, and sits in first place in the Western Conference standings. Additionally, T2 is unbeaten in three matches (2-0-1) played at Merlo Field this campaign.
Cristian Ojeda made his first start of the season for T2, logging 78 minutes and finishing second on the team with three chances created in the match. Additionally, Arturo Diz Pe logged his first assist of the season in his third start of 2019.
Bracing for goals
Langsdorf’s second-half brace marked the fourth time this season that a player has tallied two goals in a match for T2. Marvin Loría registered the club’s first brace in a 3-1 win over San Antonio FC on March 16. Dairon Asprilla registered a brace in a 3-1 win over Las Vegas Lights FC on March 23. Timbers Academy forward Gio Calixtro tallied two goals against LA Galaxy II on March 30.
In the ninth minute, Ojeda received a pass at the top of the 18-yard box from Nathan Smith, but his curling shot on the half turn missed inches past the far post.
Colorado Springs took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute after Jordan Burt converted his penalty kick.
In the 28th minute, Eryk Williamson dribbled past his marker on the right edge of the penalty area, playing a low cross into the six-yard box to Brayan Hurtado, but his shot was kick-saved by Switchbacks FC goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez. Six minutes later, Ojeda’s left-footed shot from distance missed to the right of the post in the 33rd minute.
Just before halftime, Williamson’s corner picked out Diz Pe, but his header missed over the crossbar in the 42nd minute. Ojeda’s cross from the right wing picked out Williamson, steering a headed shot just inches past the far post in the 43rd minute. After a clearance fell to Smith, his shot from distance was fired over the crossbar in the 45th minute.
Beginning the second half on the front foot, T2, who had 22 shots in the game, nearly scored when Hurtado’s cross into the box found Langsdorf before his header was cleared off the line by a Switchbacks FC defender. The ensuing clearance inside the box fell to Williamson, whose volleyed shot forced Rodriguez into a diving save off the post in the 48th minute. In the 56th minute, Renzo Zambrano’s low shot from the edge of the box was saved by Rodriguez.
T2 leveled the match at 1-1 in the 63rd minute when Smith raced down the right flank and delivered a low cross across the face of goal to Langsdorf, who placed his shot past Rodriguez from close range. The assist marked Smith’s second of the 2019 campaign.
Continuing to apply pressure, Hurtado’s cross found Marco Farfan racing into the box, but his glancing header just missed past the far post in the 67th minute.
After Todd Wharton was fouled inside the penalty area, Modou Jadama’s ensuing penalty kick was saved by Rodriguez in the 71st minute. Three minutes later, Langsdorf fended off his marker before firing a swiveling shot that missed the frame of goal.
T2 nearly scored in the 79th minute when second-half substitute Ryan Sierakowski received the ball inside the penalty area from Wharton, but his shot from point-blank-range was saved by the by Rodriguez.
Switchbacks FC regained the lead in the 84th minute when Jordan Schweitzer scored from 30-yards away from goal to make it 2-1.
Portland tied the match at 2-2 after Langsdorf connected with Diz Pe’s cross and redirected his header past Rodriguez’s outstretched arms in the 86th minute
In stoppage time, Hurtado rose highest to meet Williamson’s cross, but his headed shot was fired over the crossbar.
Next up, T2 travel to face New Mexico United at Isotopes Park on Friday, April 26. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 Head Coach Cameron Knowles
General thoughts on the match…
“I think it always shows a lot of character when you have to come from behind. We got in a position that we don’t want to be in, especially at home. But I think with the chances we created, especially in the second half, on a different night we win that game.”
On adjustments in the second half...
“We were just a little more aggressive in the second half. It started with defending a little bit higher up the field and putting [Colorado Springs] under a little more pressure, and that translated into more possession and more opportunities once we won the ball.”
On the importance of home performances while competing atop the standings...
“It’s always important to be good at home. The guys in there are very disappointed to not get another win and that’s how high the standard is that they set for themselves. So to continue to get results and to be undefeated is a real credit them, the players.”
On the upcoming match against New Mexico United...
“It’s going to be a tough test. I mean they’re a very good team and they’ve had a very good start to the season. We have to go back out on the road and, fortunately, we’ve got some good results on the road. But we’ve got a quick turnaround and need to have the guys recover.”
T2 (4-1-2, 14pts) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2-3-2, 8pts)
April 20, 2019 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 0 2 2
Co. Springs 1 1 2
COS: Burt (penalty kick), 18
POR: Langsdorf (Smith), 63
COS: Schweitzer (Argueta), 84
POR: Langsdorf (Diz Pe), 86
COS: Hundley (caution), 45
POR: Smith (caution), 46
POR: Jadama (caution), 61
POR: GK Leeker, D Smith (Hanson, 90+2), D Diz Pe, D Jadama, D Farfan, M Wharton (Calixtro, 85), M Zambrano ©, M Ojeda (Sierakowski, 78), M Williamson, M Hurtado, F Langsdorf
Substitutes Not Used: GK Lyon, D Ornstil, M Anguiano, M Scardina
TOTAL SHOTS: 22 (Two players tied, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Langsdorf, 3); FOULS: 15 (Two players tied, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 3
COS: GK Rodriguez, D Jack, D Raben, D Yaro, D Jome, M Burt, M Argueta, M Schweitzer, F Malcolm (Molano, 90+1), F Hundley (Romero, 45), F Seth (Donsu, 87)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ceus, D Hitzeman
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Four players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Malcolm, 2) FOULS: 15 (Schweitzer, 5); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
Referee: Mark Allatin
Assistant Referees: Seth Martin, Andrew Marihart
4th Official: Chad Stewart
Weather: Clear, 62 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial