PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing in their regular-season home finale, T2 fell 2-0 to Phoenix Rising FC at Providence Park Wednesday night.
The loss marked the first time T2 (2-20-6, 12pts) has lost to Phoenix Rising FC in six all-time meetings (4-1-1). Both teams will meet again Saturday, Oct. 14, at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex to close out the 2017 regular season.
Phoenix (14-7-7, 49pts) scored the opening goal of the match in the eighth minute after midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips tapped home a rebound from inside the six-yard box following back-to-back saves by Kendall McIntosh.
Holding a 15-13 shot advantage in the game, T2 created a number of scoring chances. After earning a foul on the left wing, midfielder Tomás Granitto’s curling free-kick attempt from 25 yards out was saved by Phoenix goalkeeper Josh Cohen in the 60th minute. Four minutes later, defender Shaquille Jimenez sent in a cross from the right wing that picked out defender Bill Tuiloma inside the box. Tuiloma flicked his header to defender Michael Amick, whose bouncing header was saved by Cohen.
Rising FC added a second goal when substitute Jason Johnson curled his shot past McIntosh into the lower left corner of the net in the 82nd minute.
Portland saw its best scoring opportunity of the night in the 89th minute when Tuiloma’s free-kick attempt from the edge of the penalty area forced Cohen into a diving tip-save over the crossbar to force a corner kick. Eight minutes earlier, Tuiloma came out from his own half and fired a swerving shot from long range that was caught by Cohen in the 81st minute.
Holding a 7-5 shot advantage in the first half, T2 threatened the Phoenix defense on multiple occasions. Cutting inside from the left wing, midfielder Victor Arboleda’s shot from a tight angle inside the penalty area hit the side netting in the ninth minute. Two minutes later, the Colombian midfielder’s shot from the top of the box forced Cohen into a save at his near post in the 11th minute. In the 32nd minute, forward Augustine Williams skipped past a Phoenix defender, striking his shot from 30-yards out over the crossbar. Continuing to apply pressure, midfielder Jack Barmby cut in from the right wing onto his left foot, striking Cohen’s gloves in the 39th minute. Just before halftime, a dipping shot from Granitto skipped inches past the right post in the 42nd minute.
Next up, T2 will travel to face Cascadia-rival Whitecaps FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park on Saturday, Sept. 30; kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (Pacific).
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Andrew Gregor
On the team’s performance…
“The first goal is the most important goal against a team like this. They have an idea of how they want to play. They want to sit back and look to counter and you can’t give up that first goal. They’re experienced players and they know how to defend, they know how to manage a game and once we gave up the first goal it was going to be really difficult. They were just setting us up waiting for that opportunity to counter us again, which they did multiple times and we didn’t do a good job of managing it. In the second half, we had more opportunities, but couldn’t get on the end of anything.”
On facing off against Cascadia-rival Whitecaps FC 2 on the road Saturday…
“It’s been a tough stretch for us, but it’s an opportunity for us no matter how tough this stretch is to get up for this game. We’ll see what character some of these boys in the locker room are made of to be able to play a third game in a week against a rival. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you’ve got to get up to play for it and you’ve got to get up to compete and battle. It will be a challenge for us, but I think an opportunity for us to go up there and compete with a team similar to us and look to play, look to create opportunities and hopefully we can start getting on the end of stuff.”
T2 (2-20-6, 12pts) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (14-7-7, 49pts)
Sept. 27, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 0 0 0
Phoenix Rising FC 1 1 2
PHX: Wright-Phillips, 8
PHX: Johnson (Wright-Phillips, 82)
POR: Jimenez (Caution), 74
PHX: Ramage (Caution), 86
PHX: Gavin (Caution), 90+1
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK McIntosh ©, D Jimenez, D Tuiloma, D Batista (Amick, 19), D Bjornethun, M Barmby (Cicerone, 56), M Ornstil, M Granitto, M Arboleda (Mohamed, 62), F Calixtro, F Williams
Substitutes Not Used: GK Hamilton, M Lowe, M Atkinson, F Anguiano
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Granitto, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Tuiloma, 2); FOULS: 14 (Ornstil, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 4
PHX: GK Cohen, D Dia, D Vasquez, D Ramage ©, D Mala, D Wakasa, M Watson (Watson, 88), M Hamilton, M Wright-Phillips, F Awako (Gray, 46) F Hurlow (Johnson, 62)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Berner, D Gray, D Gibbons, M Avila, M Riggi
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Dia, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Johnson, Wright-Phillips, 2); FOULS: 8 (Hamilton, Ramage, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 6
Referee: Jeff Arthurholtz
Assistant Referees: Billy Baldwin, JJ Blodgett
4th Official: Ian Miller
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.