TACOMA, Wash. – Playing their 10th match of the 2019 season, T2 scored three second-half goals to earn a 4-1 road win against Tacoma Defiance at Cheney Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Dairon Asprilla tallied a brace – his second two-goal performance of the 2019 USL Championship season – while Foster Langsdorf and Brayan Hurtado each found the back of the net. Additionally, Eryk Williamson logged his league-leading seventh assist, while Carlos Anguiano tallied an assist in his first start of the campaign.
Portland vs. Tacoma
Sunday’s match marked the 15th regular-season meeting between Portland (5-2-3, 18pts) and Tacoma (2-9-0, 6pts), dating back to April 11, 2015. Portland has won three consecutive matches in the series, dating back to May 12, 2018. Additionally, the win marked just the second time that T2 have won on the road against Tacoma in the regular season.
With the victory in their sixth road match of the 2019 season, T2 improved their record away from home to 3-1-2. Portland’s three road wins ranks tied for first in the USL Championship. Additionally, Portland’s 16 goals scored on the road ranks first in the league.
Bracing for goals
Asprilla’s second-half brace marked the sixth time this season that a player has tallied two goals in a match for T2. Additionally, it marked Asprilla’s second two-goal performance of the year, after he registered a brace in a 3-1 win over Las Vegas Lights FC on May 12. With four goals this season for T2, Asprilla shares the team lead with Langsdorf.
In the 11th minute, Asprilla leapt highest to meet Nathan Smith’s cross from the right flank, but his header flashed over the crossbar. In the 19th minute, Anguiano shook off his marker before firing a low shot from distance that forced Tacoma goalkeeper Bryan Meredith into a diving save to his left.
T2 scored the opening goal of the match in the 24th minute when Langsdorf pounced on a Tacoma back pass. After getting tackled inside the box by Meredith, Langsdorf got up and tapped the ball into the empty net. Langsdorf has tallied three goals in three regular-season appearances against Tacoma.
Tacoma leveled the match at 1-1 in the 42nd minute when Justin Dhillon picked up a misplayed pass near the top of the box and fired his shot past the outstretched arms of T2 goalkeeper Jake Leeker.
Beginning the second half on the front foot, Portland took a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute after Hurtado was fouled inside the penalty area by a Tacoma defender. Asprilla stepped up to the penalty spot and blasted his shot underneath Meredith to convert his second penalty attempt of the 2019 USL Championship season.
T2 scored a third goal in the 59th minute after Anguiano played a precise pass through the Defiance backline that released Hurtado in on goal. Taking a touch, Hurtado’s left-footed finish found the bottom right-hand corner of the net. The finish marked Hurtado’s second goal of the season for T2 in eight appearances.
Portland took a three-goal advantage after Williamson slid in Asprilla down the right side of the penalty area, with the Colombian midfielder’s low shot being placed into the far corner of the net to give T2 a 4-1 lead in the 61st minute.
In the 77th minute, second-half substitute Cristian Ojeda pounced on a loose back pass, but his shot from inside the box was saved at the near post by Meredith. Three minutes later, Asprilla found second-half substitute Gio Calixtro at the top of the box, but his one-time shot was caught by Meredith.
In the 83rd minute, Smith’s volleyed effort from just outside the right edge of the box was saved by Meredith. Just before the final whistle, Claude Dielna’s long-range free-kick attempt from the right flank missed the target in the 89th minute.
Next up, T2 will play host to El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday, May 25. Beginning at 7 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 Head Coach Cameron Knowles
General thoughts after the win…
“I thought the guys were composed and defended well in the second half and picked their moments to counter attack. They executed very well.”
On scoring three second-half goals…
“I think the biggest thing was some of the decision-making on the field. We created that goal for [Tacoma Defiance] ourselves. I think when we look at the decisions that were made by the group as a whole in the second half, the players made a lot of really good decisions in key moments.”
On Brayan Hurtado’s impact in the second half and Carlos Anguiano’s performance in his first start of 2019…
“Brayan was great when he came into the game on both sides of the ball – attacking and defending. He worked very hard and got his reward with the goal. We’ve challenged Carlos to raise his level in the last several weeks and he’s answered the call in training. I’m pleased he had a really strong performance in his first start of the year.”
On hosting expansion side El Paso Locomotive FC in the club’s next match…
“I think you can see from all the teams in the Western Conference just how close everything is. There’s a large group of teams that are only separated by a few results. Anyone we come up against will be a difficult game.”
T2 (5-2-3, 18pts) at Tacoma Defiance (2-9-0, 6pts)
May 12, 2019 – Cheney Stadium (Tacoma, Wash.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
T2 1 3 4
Tacoma Defiance 1 0 1
POR: Langsdorf, 24
TAC: Dhillon, 42
POR: Asprilla (penalty kick), 49
POR: Hurtado (Anguiano), 59
POR: Asprilla (Williamson), 61
POR: Williamson (caution), 38
TAC: Hind (caution), 88
POR: GK Leeker, D Smith, D Jadama, D Dielna ©, D Farfan, M Wharton, M Anguiano (Ojeda, 76), M Asprilla, M Williamson, M Loría (Hurtado, 45), F Langsdorf (Calixtro, 66)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Oladapo, D Hanson, D Ornstil, F Sierakowski
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Asprilla, Williamson, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Asprilla, 2); FOULS: 9 (Langsdorf, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
TAC: GK Meredith, D Wingo, D Campbell, D Rogers ©, D Hinds, M Atencio, M Roldan (Burke-Gilroy, 68), M Robles, F Hopeau, F Dhillon (Diaz, 72), F Vargas (Gonzalez, 62)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Muse, D Ulysse, M Daley, M Rystrand
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Dhillon, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Dhillon, 3); FOULS: 10 (Robles, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4
Referee: Alejandro Mariscal
Assistant Referees: Christian Clerc, Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Hunter Zachwieja
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial