PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their second home game at Providence Park this season, T2 fell 3-1 to Whitecaps FC 2 on Friday night, despite holding a 17-14 edge in shots.
Whitecaps FC 2 benefited from forward Kyle Greig’s goal from inside the 18-yard box in the first minute and a free-kick finish from forward Fatawu Safiu in the 19th minute to build a 2-0 lead in the first half.
T2 (3-6-1, 10pts) pulled a goal back in the 27th minute when midfielder Neco Brett finished from the edge of the six-yard box, marking his third goal in the last three matches for Portland. Forward Kharlton Belmar, who evaded a Vancouver defender on the edge of the box, slipped the ball ahead of Brett, who calmly placed his first-time strike into the back of the net. Eight minutes later, Brett nearly added to his tally when his long-range attempt was parried away at the near post in the 35th minute.
In the 74th minute, midfielder Jordan Haynes extended Whitecaps FC 2 lead with a finish near the penalty spot.
Recording their highest shot output in a game this season, T2 created several scoring opportunities in the second half. In the 49th minute, defender Taylor Peay’s knock-down header was cleared off the Vancouver goal line at the near post, while midfielder Ben Polk, who evaded an oncoming defender in the box, struck his left-footed shot into the side netting in the 63rd minute. Four minutes later, Brett’s free-kick service took a bounce in the box, heading toward the goal, but Vancouver goalkeeper Spencer Richey managed to make a strong save.
Next up, T2 will return to Providence Park to play their third consecutive home match, facing Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Thursday, May 26; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).
Single-game tickets for T2 home games are available at the Providence Park box office, online at www.timbers2.com, and on game day at the venue box office.
Thursday’s match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Andrew Gregor
Overall thoughts on the match…
“It was disappointing. I thought we had some decent runs of play and did some decent things. I think we were a little unlucky with the goals as well, two deflections. But, we have to be better at it. We knew what Vancouver was going to do, coming into the game, and we didn’t do a good job of managing it, especially on the defensive side.”
On preparing for the next match…
“We’ll do the same thing we always do. We’ll go back and look at this game. We’ll also look at our next opponent, and we’ll look at our players, as far as what we need to do to get them connected in what we want to do and continue to develop them. Although disappointing, these games are important for the development piece of these players. So, we’ll work during the week to make sure they understand where there are issues and where there are positive things to try and get them to continue moving forward in that direction.”
On Neco Brett’s recent form in the final third…
“I think he’s done alright. I think he had a couple other chances that he could’ve done well with tonight as well. But, he’s a first year professional, and he’s creating some good opportunities for himself, which will continue for him. And, if he wants to continue moving up, he’s got to make sure that he continues to put those away and be cutthroat with those opportunities.”
T2 defender Taylor Peay
Overall thoughts on the match…
“It’s a tough one. Vancouver is a good team. I thought we had our times where we played well. But, as coach Gregor said, ‘In the beginning of games, it comes down to moments.’ And, we weren’t sharp enough at times.”
On the team’s fight after going down early…
“Coach preaches a never die mentality, and we all follow that. The guys did great the whole time, fighting and clawing for more goals, but that’s how it goes sometimes. We’ll get back training and focused for the next game.”
T2 forward Neco Brett
On scoring three goals in the last the three games…
“Right now, most importantly, I’ve been looking at my mistakes after practice to see how I can get in goal-scoring opportunities, trying to get in that spot where I can score instead of staying all the way out on the wing. Because, as you know, we’re playing three strikers so it doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to be out on the wing at all times. Sometimes, I’m supposed to come in and get myself in goal-scoring opportunities so that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s paying off.”
On the fighting for the fans at Providence Park…
“It always feels really good to put on the Timbers gear and come out in front of our fans. Our fans are always loud and always supporting us and you always want to try and get three points, especially at home for them to feel happy and come out for the next game.”
T2 (3-6-1, 10pts) vs. Whitecaps FC 2 (6-0-2, 20pts)
May 20, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 1 0 1
Whitecaps FC 2 2 1 3
VAN: Greig, 1
VAN: Safiu, 19
POR: Brett, 27
VAN: Haynes, 74
VAN: Greig, 67
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK McIntosh, D Peay, D Okugo (Lowe, 62), D Gallagher, D Farfan (Thoma, 69), M Lewis, M Besler (Meva, 84), M Brett, M Bijev, M Polk (Bodily, 69), F Belmar
Substitutes Not Used: GK Luthy, D Morley, D Richards
TOTAL SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 10; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 3
VAN: GK Richey, D Chung, D de Wit, D Farmer, D Levis, M Baldisimo, M Gardner, M Seymore, F Haber (Sandhu, 77), F Safiu (Haynes, 73), F Greig (Campbell, 87)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Melvin, D Green, M Frano
TOTAL SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 9; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 5
Referee: Marco Vega
Assistant Referees: CJ Koll, Jonathan Kaminski
4th Official: Ian Miller
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 62 degrees