PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their final home match of the 2018 USL regular season, T2 fell 2-0 to Reno 1868 FC at Merlo Field on Wednesday night.
2018 USL Cup Playoffs
Despite the loss, T2 is one of six teams to already have clinched a spot in the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs. Portland now sits in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, three points behind fifth-place Reno 1868 FC. T2 will travel to face second-place Phoenix Rising FC in the regular-season finale at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex on Oct. 13.
Starting the match on the front foot, forward Foster Langsdorf forced a turnover in Reno’s own half, but his chipped effort from 35 yards away from goal was fired over the crossbar in the fourth minute. Seconds later, midfielder Marvin Loría raced past two defenders down the right wing, firing his shot from the right side of the box at the side netting.
In the seventh minute, Loría’s in-swinging corner-kick service picked out defender Arturo Diz Pe in the center of the box, but his header struck the crossbar. Continuing to apply pressure on the Reno 1868 FC defense, midfielder Andre Lewis found space at the top of the box, firing a low shot that forced Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano into a diving stop.
Reno took a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute after defender Duke Lacroix slotted his finish underneath T2 goalkeeper Alex Mangels from a tight angle from the six-yard box.
Five minutes into the start of the second half, midfielder Jack Barmby picked up the ball in his half and fired a dipping, long-range shot that forced a save from Bersano at his near post.
Running at the Reno backline, midfielder Carlos Anguiano played in Langsdorf, whose shot from the edge of the 18-yard box skipped inches past the far post in the 56th minute. Three minutes later, Lewis’ shot from inside the penalty area was cleared off the line by a Reno defender at the far post.
After midfielder Renzo Zambrano was fouled just outside the 18-yard box, Barmby’s free-kick effort towards the top corner of the net was saved by Bersano in the 70th minute. Three minutes later, Barmby played in Langsdorf behind the Reno backline, but his shot was deflected into the arms of Bersano.
Reno doubled its advantage in the 85th minute after forward Jochen Graf was played in behind the T2 defense and placed his finish into the lower right corner of the net to make it a 2-0 score line.
Next up, T2 travel to face Phoenix Rising FC in the regular-season finale at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex on Saturday, Oct. 13. Beginning at 6 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles
On the team’s performance tonight…
“There were parts of the performance that were really good, and then there were the moments that let us down…I think conceding a relatively soft goal and then having to chase the game, which was always going to be difficult. That being said, I thought the guys, in the second half, came out and were throwing everything at them. There were really good moments and I thought some guys stepped up in the second half. I told them to be brave on the ball and I think we saw that. We increased our control over the game, we had more shots and some dangerous balls into the box, but we couldn’t just put the ball in the back of the net. When you’re pushing and pushing, it lends itself to the counter-attacking threat from them and we unfortunately conceded in one of those moments.”
On the play of the team after a strong first opening 10 minutes of play…
“I thought we started the game really, really well. We were on the front foot and had good moments of possession and really solid defending. We kind of got ourselves too deep and we couldn’t get out of it and then we were in a hurry to get it forward once we won the ball instead of connecting two, three, four passes to give ourselves time to get up the field. We just need to put our foot on it and trust our ability and trust the players that we have. We’ve got a lot of guys that can spray the ball around and we need to believe in that part of our game.”
On his message to the team heading into the regular-season finale at Phoenix Rising FC…
“We’ve got to put together 90 minutes. We’ve talked about it earlier in the year where we’ve seen a good first half, or a good second half, but we need to play a game start to finish. When we’re on the front foot and we can punish a team; we need to take it. I think the week off will give us time to reflect on the performance and put together a good game plan to go on the road because we’re going to have to play the playoffs on the road. We need to be prepared to go in and win road games, which we’ve shown we can do in the regular season.”
T2 (16-13-4, 52pts) vs. Reno 1868 FC (15-7-10, 55pts)
Oct. 3, 2018 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 0 0 0
Reno 1868 FC 1 1 2
RENO: Lacroix (Casiple), 36
RENO: Graf (Hoppenot), 85
POR: Barmby (caution), 22
RENO: Graf (caution), 69
POR: Hanson (caution), 89
POR: GK Mangels, D Mulligan (Williams, 81), D Diz Pe, D Jadama, D Batista, M Zambrano ©, M Lewis (Calixtro, 87), M Loria (Hanson, 50), M Aguiano, M Barmby, F Langsdorf
Substitutes Not Used: GK Pack, D Ornstil, D Phillips, F Jambga
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Barmby, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Barmby, Lewis, 2); FOULS: 7 (Barmby, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 1
RNO: GK Bersano, D Richards, D Carroll, D Griffiths, D Lacroix, M Mfeka (Murrell, 90+1), M Abend, M Wehan, M Casiple, F Hoppenot, F Brown (Graf, 61, Thiaw, 90)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ihn, M Janjigian, M Van Ewijk, F Seymore
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Abend, Wehan, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1) FOULS: 10 (Graf, 4); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4
Referee: Malik Badawi
Assistant Referees: Eduardo Jeff, CJ Koll
4th Official: Billy Baldwin
Weather: Cloudy, 61 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial