PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing in their inaugural USL match, T2 earned a 3-1 win over fellow expansion side Real Monarchs SLC in front of 3,667 fans Sunday night at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. Forward Kharlton Belmar notched a brace, including the team’s first-ever goal, and forward Rundell Winchester tallied a goal on a diving header in the second half, helping T2 prevail in their debut match.
T2 (1-0-0, 3pts) kicked off their 2015 campaign with a strong offensive performance, outshooting Real Monarchs (0-1-1, 1pt) 13-8, including 6-1 on goal. On the defensive side, Portland contained Real Monarchs to just one shot on goal and few clear opportunities. Belmar vaulted T2 into the lead with the opening goal in the 31st minute, helping Portland go into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead.
Belmar, who played for the Timbers U-23s PDL team in 2014, placed a header across the face of goal and into the back of the net following a cross from Schillo Tshuma. Belmar doubled Portland’s lead in the 54th minute, notching his second goal after pouncing on a misplayed ball by Real Monarchs goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez and slotting a shot into an open net.
Moments later, Winchester gave T2 a three-goal cushion with an impressive diving header inside the box, finishing a cross from defender Andy Thoma in the 57th minute.
Real Monarchs, the USL side of Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake, tallied their only goal, and only shot on goal, in the 59th minute. A T2 defender lost his footing around the penalty box and forward Coco Navarro found a one-on-one opportunity before slotting a shot past T2 goalkeeper Justin Luthy. Real Monarchs were forced to play the final four minutes plus stoppage time with 10 men after forward Garrett Losee was ejected following a second yellow card in the 86th minute.
Following Sunday’s inaugural match, T2 return to USL action this week against defending USL-champion Sacramento Republic FC on Thursday, April 2, at Merlo Field; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific). Thursday’s match will be available live online via a high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.
T2 (1-0-0, 3pts) vs. Real Monarchs SLC (0-1-1, 1pt)
March 29, 2015 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Real Monarchs SLC 0 1 1
T2 1 2 3
POR: Belmar (Tshuma), 31
POR: Belmar, 54
POR: Winchester (Thoma), 58
SLC: Navarro, 59
SLC: Losee (Caution), 43
POR: Tshuma (Caution), 61
SLC: Baldin (Caution), 76
SLC: Losee (Ejection, Second Yellow), 86
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Luthy, D Peay, D Clarke, D Manning, D Thoma, M Besler, M Gavin ©, M Winchester, M Fatawu (Rose, 83), M Tshuma (Payne, 77), F Belmar
Substitutes Not Used: GK Withrow, D Delbridge, M Casiple, F Biglieri, F Evans
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Belmar, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Belmar, 2); FOULS: 16 (Besler, Tshuma, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 0
SLC: GK Rodriguez, D Murrell, D Baumgartner (Sundly, 72), D Copeland, D McGovern, M Baldin ©, M Carvalho M Celestino, M Velazco, F Navarro (Orozco, 66), F Losee, F Tavares (Brown, 79)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Osswald, M Arnone
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Navarro, 1); FOULS: 19 (Celestino, Losee, 4); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Farhad Dadkho, Jason Perlewitz
4th Official: Lucas Brooks
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial