USL MATCH RECAP | Orange County Blues FC: 3, Portland Timbers 2: 1

IRVINE, Calif. – Midfielder Fatawu Safiu scored his seventh goal of the season, however T2 could not overcome a three-goal deficit in a 3-1 loss against Orange County Blues FC on Saturday night in front of 1,304 fans at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC-Irvine. Portland remains in eighth place in the Western Conference standings, just four points behind Tulsa Roughnecks FC for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Playing their 13th road match of the year, T2 (10-13-2, 32pts) went into the halftime break trailing 1-0 after a powerful strike by OC Blues FC forward Chris Cortez. Nevertheless, Portland came out on the front foot in the second half and attacked, outshooting the OC Blues 6-3 in the second half, also earning a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.

“We showed more courage on the ball in the second half, we worked it more in behind them, earning corners and taking shots,” said T2 head coach Jay Vidovich. “Unfortunately, we were exposed defensively with lapses in concentration and I think that was the difference. We look forward to heading home for another match and to continue growing the way we did in the second half.”

Portland created several scoring chances in the second half, including a breakaway by forward Michael Seaton in the 60th minute, but OC Blues goalkeeper Pepe Miranda made the save. Kharlton Belmar, T2’s leading goal scorer this season, headed a powerful effort towards goal off a corner kick from Blair Gavin in the 74th minute that beat Miranda, but was cleared off the line by an OC Blues defender.

Portland earned another scoring opportunity as OC Blues were called for a penalty in the box and Fatawu slotted home his seventh goal of the season.

Orange County Blues FC (12-9-3, 39pts) capitalized on their chances in the second half, converting two goals from just three shots on goal in the period. Cortez completed his brace in the 59th minute and midfielder Denzel Slager made it 3-0 in the 67th minute.

Following Saturday’s match, T2 return home to face Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday, Sept. 5, at Merlo Field; kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (Pacific).

T2 (10-13-2, 32pts) at Orange County Blues FC 2 (12-9-3, 39pts)
Aug. 29, 2015 – Anteater Stadium (Irvine, Calif.)

Goals by Half              1          2          F
OC Blues FC               1          2         3
T2                                0          1         1

Scoring Summary
OC: Cortez (Estrada), 8
OC: Cortez, 59
OC: Slager (Estrada), 67
POR: Fatawu (penalty kick), 88

Misconduct Summary
OC: Cortez (Caution), 13
OC: Santana (Caution), 21
POR: Fatawu (Caution), 50

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Luthy, D Fisher, D Manning, D Delbridge, D Thoma, M Payne, M Besler (Fatawu, 46), M Gavin ©, M Belmar, M Biglieri (Winchester, 46), F Seaton

Substitutes Not Used: GK Nelson, D Rose, M Casiple, M Richards

TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 5

OC: GK Miranda, D McCracken, D Griffiths, D Navarro, D Suggs ©, M Santana, M Petricevic (Ilich, 90), M Blanco, M Slager, M Estrada, F Cortez (Ramirez, 72)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Cohen, D Felix, M Barron, M Kim, F Walker

TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 2

Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Assistant Referees: Adrian Gonzalez, Alexander Luttman
4th Official: Denis Vargas
Attendance: 1,304
Weather: Clear, 79 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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