T2, Villyan Bijev at Reno 1868 FC - July 22, 2017

USL MATCH RECAP | Reno 1868 FC: 1, Portland Timbers 2: 1

RENO, Nev. – Playing their ninth road match of the 2017 regular season, T2 came back to earn a 1-1 draw on the road against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday night. 17-year-old Timbers Academy forward Gio Calixtro recorded his first career goal in his first career start for T2.

After falling behind, T2 (1-15-3, 6pts) leveled the score late in the match after they threatened the Reno defense. Midfielder Villyan Bijev struck a left-footed shot from outside the box that forced Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano into a diving save, and the rebound fell to Calixtro, who slotted home from inside the six-yard box in the 83rd minute.

Reno 1868 FC (7-4-6, 27pts) opened the scoring in the 71st minute when midfielder Seth Casiple’s deflected shot from inside the penalty area found the back of the net.

Portland created a number of scoring chances in the second half as substitute Blake Bodily picked out defender Michael Amick inside the box, and his header missed the frame in the 66th minute. One minute later, defender Kyle Bjornethun’s strike from the edge of the box went inches past the far post in the 67th minute. Second-half substitute Jose Perez, making his T2 and USL debut, fired a shot from the edge of the box that missed the target in the 81st minute.

Searching for a goal in the first half, Calixtro, who was on the right wing, played a long ball to midfielder Jacob Montes at the left edge of the box, and his driven shot forced Bersano into a diving save in the eighth minute. In space on the edge of the 18-yard box, Bijev struck a right-footed shot that missed the target in the 35th minute. Three minutes later, defender Shaquille Jimenez played a ball to Bijev on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot was struck over the crossbar in the 38th minute.

Timbers goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh finished the match with a game-high seven saves. Additionally, Timbers Academy midfielder Carlos Anguiano made his T2 and USL debut as a second-half substitute.

Next up, T2 return home to face Rio Grande Valley FC Toros at Providence Park on Saturday, July 29; kickoff is set for 8 p.m. (Pacific).

The July 29 match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.

Postgame Quote Sheet
On his thoughts after earning the point on the road…
“I thought it was always going to be a difficult game coming into Reno. They’re a good team and coached well. They’re an older group, and experienced as well. The two strikers up top are difficult to deal with and I thought we did a good job at times tonight. We were a little unlucky on the deflected goal. They had a bit of the run of the play, but we showed some good fight going down a goal, not folding and staying in the game. We created an opportunity to score, and we scored. They did a good job of finishing the game off. I’m proud of the guys. It’s something we’ve had problems with throughout the year, and I think this is a big step for them to have that belief to know that they can finish games off at the right time.”

On the performances of the Timber Academy players…
“I thought the academy boys stepped in when we needed them to. Junior [Carlos Anguiano] and Pepsi [Jose Perez] came on late and put in really good performances. It was always going to be a difficult game for Gio [Calixtro]. He’s still growing as a player and as a young man. On thing we do know about Gio is he knows how to get into good spots. The physical side of it was always going to be difficult on him tonight, but I’m really happy for him because he has been working hard. We talked about it in training yesterday for him to stay connected and make sure he’s in and around the goal for any opportunities and score a dirty goal. He was in a good spot, he was disciplined to stay onside. [Villyan] Bijev hit a nice shot and it deflected to him and he buried it. I’m really happy for him.”

On building off of tonight’s performance heading into Saturday’s home match against Rio Grande Valley FC Toros…
“We need to take this momentum, the belief as a group to keep fighting and keep going and take that into the game on Saturday. Rio is going to be a good team. I know they’re coached well. It’s going to be a difficult game for us, but tonight’s performance and last week’s performance against Swope Park Rangers, even though we didn’t get the result… We’re trending in the right direction. This is a young group and they’ve got to learn – learn how to win certain games, learn how to tie certain games, even on the day when we’re not playing our best. We’ve got to carry that forward into the game on the weekend and look to get points against Rio Grande Valley.”

T2 (1-15-3, 6pts) vs. Reno 1868 FC (7-4-6, 27pts)
July 22, 2017 – Greater Nevada Field (Reno, Nev.)

Goals by Half                 1          2          F
T2                                 0          1          1
Reno 1868 FC               0          1          1

Scoring Summary
RNO: Casiple (Wehan), 71
POR: Calixtro, 83

Misconduct Summary
RNO: LaGrassa (Caution), 43
POR: McIntosh (Caution), 52
RNO: Hoppenot (Caution), 64
RNO: Hernandes (Caution), 65

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK McIntosh ©, D Jimenez, D Ornstil, D Amick, D Bjornethun, M Lowe (Perez, 75), M Montes, M Cicerone (Anguiano, 84), M Bijev, M Mohamed (Bodily, 59), F Calixtro

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hamilton

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Bijev, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Cicerone, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 7 

RNO: GK Bersano, D Murrell, D Griffiths, D Ockford, D Richards, M LaGrassa (Espinal, 59), M Casiple, M Wehan, M Mfeka (Fernandes, 46), F Hoppenot (Burgos, 79),  F Kelly

Substitutes Not Used: GK Klabough, D Niederhausern, F Echeverria

TOTAL SHOTS: 28 (Kelly, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Burgos, Kelly, 2); FOULS: 13 (Richards, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2

Referee: Benjamin Oakley
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Davis, Matt Huston
4th Official: Mirhan Hamzic
Attendance: 6,027
Weather: Clear, 96 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.