T2, Villyan Bijev vs. OKC Energy FC - 6.16.17
Sam Ortega

USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 1, OKC Energy FC: 3

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing the first game of a two-match home stand, T2 fell 3-1 to OKC Energy FC at Providence Park. Midfielder Villyan Bijev scored the lone goal for T2, recording his fourth goal of the 2017 season.

T2 (1-12-1, 4pts) opened the scoring in the 40th minute after they were awarded a penalty when defender Lamar Batista was brought down inside the box during a corner kick. From the penalty spot, Bijev slotted his attempt past OKC goalkeeper C.J. Cochran into the lower right-hand corner of the net to give Portland a 1-0 lead.  

OKC Energy FC (4-5-2, 17pts) leveled the score two minutes later when forward Philip Rasmussen slotted in from close range in the 42nd minute.

Energy FC scored two second-half penalties kicks after forward Andy Craven converted in the 74th and 78th minute to give his side a 3-1 lead.

Holding a 7-5 shot advantage in the first half, T2 started the game on the front foot. After midfielder Blake Bodily delivered a cross from a corner kick that picked out defender Michael Amick, his header missed the target in the 16th minute. After midfielder Russell Cicerone kept the ball in play before it went out on the touchline, he played a pass to defender Harold Hanson inside the box and his right-footed shot was saved by Cochran in the 21st minute. Two minutes later, Bijev slipped a pass behind the OKC defense into the path of forward Augustine Williams, and his right-footed effort was saved by Cochran in the 23rd minute. A minute later, Cicerone found space on the edge of the 18-yard box and fired a left-footed shot that was saved by Cochran.

Continuing to pressure the OKC defense, Cicerone found a pocket of space inside the penalty area and his driven shot was kick-saved by Cochran in the 33rd minute. Just before halftime, Bijev’s long-range shot was sent over the crossbar in the 45th minute.  

Searching for a goal in the second half, Bodily raced past his defender and fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area that missed the frame in the 79th minute. After Hanson found midfielder Terrell Lowe at the edge of the box, Lowe’s effort was fired past the post in the 84th minute. In stoppage time, second-half substitute Omar Mohamed picked out Williams, whose diving header from inside the six-yard box went inches past the post in the 91st minute. After beating his defender on the right flank, Hanson fired a long-range effort that missed the target in the 92nd minute.

T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh finished the match with two saves, including stopping OKC defender Anthony Wallace’s penalty attempt in the 57th minute.

Next up, T2 will play host to Reno 1868 FC at Providence Park on Saturday, June 24; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).

The June 24 match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.

Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Andrew Gregor

On his overall thoughts on the match...
"I thought the first 40 minutes were very good. We did a lot of things right and created a lot of opportunities. Minus the one chance they had on a mistake by us, we dominated the first 40 minutes and did a good job. We didn't start the second half right, which we challenged them to do and they did a poor job of it. Giving up three penalties in the second half on a team that's sitting back and countering is unacceptable. We're going to have to turn it back around and make it work. These are young players that need to learn how to manage moments, and need to learn how to dig out a game. They need to manage times in the game when we're behind or when we have the lead. It's the first time we've been ahead in a game in a long time and we didn't manage it very well, and that's a big punch to the gut when you're up 1-0 with four minutes to go in the first half. That's something we're going to have to learn and work on."

On the performance from the front four in the first half...
"I thought the front group did a really good job. I thought Russ [Russell Cicerone] was busy. I thought [Blake] Bodily made some good runs and got in some dangerous areas. Augi [Augustine Williams] had a couple of opportunities. [Villyan] Bijev was playing simple. I thought we were tearing them apart at times. It's a little unfortunate to not score a goal or two, but that's the way it goes. You've got to continue going, stay disciplined and stay focused. The front group that OKC had aren't young guys. They know what they're doing and caused our back line some problems tonight."

On heading into next Saturday's home match against Reno 1868 FC...
"You take the 40 minutes and say let's go. Maybe next week we can improve on that. For me, it's a focus situation, a discipline situation in them. It's getting to do things right and being able to be consistent to do it over time. They did well tonight for 40 minutes, but now we've got to put it together against a very similar team compared to some of the other teams we played recently. They're probably a little bit older. They're probably going to sit back a little bit and look to counter, and we're going to need to make sure that we stay focused and we can continue that focus into the second half and through the game. That's the only way we're going to win games. We have some talented young players in this group, but they're going to have to manage those moments."

T2 (1-12-1, 4pts) vs. OKC Energy FC (5-5-2, 17pts)
June 16, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                 1          2          F
T2                                 1          0          1
OKC Energy FC             1          2          3

Scoring Summary
POR: Bijev (Penalty Kick), 40
OKC: Rasmussen, 42
OKC: Craven (Penalty Kick), 74
OKC: Craven (Penalty Kick), 78

Misconduct Summary
POR: Hanson (Caution), 18
OKC: Andrews (Caution), 44
POR: Amick (Caution), 60
OKC: Bond (Caution), 90

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK McIntosh, D Hanson, D Amick, D Batista, D Bjornethun, M Lowe, M Lewis, M Cicerone (Mohamed, 69), M Bijev, M Bodily, F Williams

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hamilton, D Jimenez, D Ornstil, M Granitto, M Montes, M Brett

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Lowe, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Cicerone, 2); FOULS: 13 (Amick, Williams, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2 

OKC: GK Cochran, D Hyland, D Harris, D Andrews, D Wallace, M Guzman, M Barril (Bond, 46), M Dixon (D. Gonzalez, 85), M Rasmussen, F M. Gonzalez, F Craven (Jackson, 87)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lissek, D Dixon, D Daly, F Martinez

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Craven, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Craven, 3); FOULS: 11 (M. Gonzalez, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 4

Referee: Levi Rippy
Assistant Referees: Kelsey Harmes, Cephas Quartson
4th Official: CJ Koll
Attendance: 2,317
Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.