PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their third home match at Providence Park this season, T2 defeated Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 1-0 on Thursday for their third home win of the 2016 campaign. Forward Villyan Bijev tallied his first professional goal for Portland, while T2 improved to 2-1-0 at Providence Park in 2016.
With Bijev’s finish, eight different players have scored for T2, with Victor Arboleda, Nick Besler, Neco Brett, Kharlton Belmar, Dylan Damraoui, Andre Lewis and Ben Polk each recording goals through 11 games. After tallying a game-high five saves, T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh recorded his second-career shutout.
Coming out on the attack, T2 (4-6-1,13pts) opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Bijev bent his long-range strike past goalkeeper Charlie Lyon to build an early 1-0 lead for Portland. Floating away from the Sounders FC 2 defense at the top of the 18-yard box, Bijev received midfielder Seth Casiple’s pass across his body before curling his shot into the back of the net.
Outshooting Sounders FC 2 (1-6-4, 7pts) 15-10, T2 created several scoring opportunities in the second half. In the 57th minute, Bijev, positioned at the top of the box, released Belmar to the near post, forcing the goalkeeper off his line to disrupt the forward’s dangerous run. In the 77th minute, Besler’s low, driven ball from outside of the area found second-half substitute Blake Bodily, who reacted quickly to redirect his nifty chip effort just past the far post. Seven minutes later, a loose ball trickled out to Polk at the top of the box, whose right-footed effort was parried away for a corner kick in the 84th minute.
Next week, T2 travel to Idaho to square off against Swope Park Rangers on Saturday, June 4, at Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, Idaho, located just outside of Boise; kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (Pacific)/7 p.m. (Mountain).
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.
Saturday’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…
“I think it went how those games go. It wasn’t pretty at times. It was a little bit more of a fight than maybe we would want. But, it was good to see the guys come through and find a way, really wanted to get that second goal. I thought we deserved a chance to get that second goal. Obviously with the PK situation and a couple other good chances, it just didn’t want to go our way. But, credit to the team for digging deep, and credit to the Sounders as well for fighting through at the end. They made it difficult on us, but I’m proud of the job our guys did. I thought we did a good job to hold on to it.”
On Bijev scoring his first goal…
“He puts in honest work whenever he’s on the field, and we saw that again tonight. I’m glad that he got rewarded for it because he’s had chances this year where he’s really done nothing wrong in certain situations, and he’s just been unlucky where the goalkeeper makes a good save or he hits the post. So, it was good to see him get rewarded tonight, which will hopefully keep pushing through. I thought his performance tonight was pretty good.”
On winning against Seattle in a Cascadia match at home…
“Yeah, I think that’s the most important thing. You can be disappointed a little bit with certain things involving the game, but you’ll never be disappointed with beating the Sounders. We take the three points, move on, and we’ll see them again here in a couple weeks so we’ll have a chance to go at it again. But, you’re always going to be pleased winning these Cascadia-cup games and the three points is very important.”
T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh
On getting the win...
“It feels fantastic right now. The boys are obviously feeling really good, really excited, especially in a derby match. I think we were the better team today, and it wasn’t the prettiest of games but it’s part of the learning process. You have to learn to win ugly at times and I think we went out there and grinded it out and got the result, and I couldn’t be happier for the boys and for the club.”
On recording his second shutout…
“I think obviously it’s a team effort. I think the four games plus (Nick) Besler in front of me were unbelievable all night, protecting me. I think they helped with organizing. They were on another level today. They were fantastic.”
T2 forward Villyan Bijev
On recording his first goal for T2…
“I’m very excited and happy that I was finally able to score a goal. I’ve had some good performances, but to be able to produce something at the end, I think that’s one of the most important things for a player. It was an important game. Not only did we need the three points, but it’s a big rivalry game also. So, to be able to get the game-winning goal was really important for me.”
On the bond developing amongst the attacking players…
“Coming in, at the beginning of the season, I think we brought in a lot of new players, players that we’ve never played with before. So, now after getting a few games and getting 90 minutes together, we’re able to read each other a lot better. We’re doing a lot of pattern work with coach Gregor in training, and I think that’s showing on the field, being able to recognize where each player wants the ball is helping a lot.”
On the importance of winning a rivalry game heading into the next match…
“It was very important for us. Not only did we need the three points for where we are in the table, but also it was an important game as far as pride and the rivalry. To be able to get the win and move on from there is very important, and we want to build on our momentum.”
T2 (4-6-1, 13pts) vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2 (1-6-4, 7pts)
May 26, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 1 0 1
Seattle Sounders FC 2 0 0 0
POR: Bijev (Casiple), 25
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK McIntosh, D Lowe (Palacios, 90), D Morley, D Gallagher, D Farfan (Thoma, 46), M Lewis (Casiple, 14), M Besler, M Bijev, F Brett (Bodily, 61), F Polk (Richards, 84), F Belmar
Substitutes Not Used: GK Luthy, M Damraoui
TOTAL SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 10; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 5
SEA: GK Lyon, D Fisher, D Jnohope, D Nelson, D Tolo, M Schweitzer (Tomozawa, 72), M O’Ojong (Kapawa, 57), M Mathers (Alihodzic, 63), F Samuel, F Mansaray (Ramos, 82), F Patino (Bwana, 72)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bersano, D Baldwin
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 3
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referees: Jeremiah Hickman, Tymon Emch
4th Official: William Baldwin
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 59 degrees