PORTLAND, Ore. – Receiving goals fromforward Kharlton Belmar and midfielder Fatawu Safiu, T2 claimed their second consecutive win at Merlo Field and their first shutout at home, registering a 2-0 victory over Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,123 fans in Portland, Ore.

After a scoreless first half, T2 (10-12-2, 32pts) grabbed an early lead in the second half as Belmar opened the scoring with his 12th goal of the season to make it 1-0. T2 midfielder Dairon Asprilla played a cross from the right flank to an open Belmar who finished with his right foot from inside the box in the 51st minute. Fatawu doubled T2’s lead in the 81st minute as the defense dropped off, allowing him to fire a powerful strike from outside the box into the top corner of the goal for the 2-0 lead and his sixth goal of the USL season.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC (10-10-6, 36pts) had 11 shots in the game (4 on target), but T2 goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was able to make four saves in order to record his third shutout of the season and his first at home.
“The more you can establish yourself defensively also allows you to have a better attack,” said Jay Vidovich, head coach of T2. “We’re more organized and had a little more control of the game that way. The ability to close out a game [is crucial] so it’s very important that our defense is getting more stable and making better decisions.”

Following Saturday’s match, T2 hit the road to face Orange County Blues FC on Saturday, Aug. 29, at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC-Irvine; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Saturday’s match will also be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com.

T2 (10-12-2, 32pts) vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC (10-10-6, 36pts)
Aug. 22, 2015 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
Roughnecks FC            0          0          0
T2                                  0          2          2

Scoring Summary
POR: Belmar (Asprilla), 51
POR: Fatawu, 81

Misconduct Summary
POR: Thoma (Caution), 12
TUL: Price (Caution), 29
TUL: Grimes (Caution), 77

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Gleeson, D Peay, D Delbridge, D Manning, D Thoma, M Besler, M Fochive, M Gavin © (Richards, 87), M Asprilla, M Jeanderson (Fatawu, 57), F Belmar (Seaton, 70)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Luthy, M Payne, M Casiple, F Biglieri


TUL: GK Feener, D Miller, D Price, D Grimes (Brewster, 79), D Davoren, M Ballew (Kidd, 57), M Manhebo, M Bond © (Jimenez, 82), M Cordeiro (Black, 77), F Mata, F Ochoa

Substitutes Not Used:


Referee: Lucas Brooks
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Riley and Ian Miller
4th Official:  Jeff Arthurholtz
Attendance: 3,123
Weather: Smoky, 82 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

Post Game Quote Sheet

T2 head coach Jay Vidovich

On how the win helps going down the stretch…
“We’re looking for our points. We’ve had our fair share of wins. We’re not that far off the top but we’ve had to learn how to win and not to lose as well. For us to get points and a chance to get a little closer is great. We keep getting opportunities to play teams above us in the table so, it was huge for us. [As far as] momentum [goes], it's two games in a row so hopefully we can keep building on it.”

On how registering the shutout is important for the defense…
“Well [the shutout is] key. The more you can establish yourself defensively also allows you to have a better attack. We’re more organized there and had a little more control of the game that way. It’s crucial. The ability to close out a game and sometimes the goals don’t come for you as easily, so it’s very important that our defense is getting more stable and making better decisions.”

On contributions from the bench
“I think there are a couple of real big positives for the T2 team. One is you get the insertion of first team players like Dairon Asprilla, George Fochive, Taylor Peay, Jake Gleeson, now with [the first team], when they come [down from the first team] it makes someone else that’s been working with T2 work harder in training. Now they know they are competing, not only against their teammates in training but now also guys that are on the first team field. So when they come in and they have to take the bench it becomes more real for them, the quality of efforts that they have to put on the field. It’s been a great insertion of quality of the first team helping out the second team.”

On what he liked from his team…
“A couple of players had better moments defensively. Look at from game-to-game, three games ago where Anthony Manning was or Andy Thoma and they improved immensely. I think Jake [Gleeson] is stepping up a little bit. The relationship between George Fochive and Nick Besler is also helping and then I think once again it’s a total team effort. You look at the start of the match, the efforts that Dairon [Asprilla] was giving up high and the pressure Kharlton [Belmar] was putting on the ball, it just kind of went around everyone on the field. Certainly our backline and our holding midfielders and Jake [Gleeson] was very clean, he held on to everything. The other point is everyone on the team put a little bit better efforts on their jobs defensively.” 

T2 forward Kharlton Belmar

On how the win helps build momentum down the stretch…
“[The win] was big. All week we were building it up and we knew that this team was ahead of us and we needed to pinch points off of them to make a good push for the end.”

On if he was surprised the ball got to him on his goal…
“I was kind of surprised that he pulled it back where he did because Blair [Gavin] had made a great run ahead of me. I was just fortunate that they all let it go and I was able to slip it in there.”

On the team chemistry and mentality…
“Like I said before, in practice all week we all knew the importance of this game. Even in the locker room before the game we were getting all riled up because we knew this was going to be a big matchup and the team is ahead of us and we need to pick up points, as many as we can, to get into a playoff spot.”

T2 forward Fatawu Safiu

On how this win helps build momentum for the team down the stretch…
“First off I just thank god. We keep talking to each other. If we’re going to make it in the playoffs we have to work hard and strong so we keep pushing. To me, it doesn’t matter who scores, it’s about the three points so we got the three points and that’s the most important.”

On if he was surprised the defense backed off him so much before his goal…
“No. I’m comfortable doing that. I love to shoot it. I have the power to shoot. I scored one against Vancouver so I’m not scared to take shots. Anytime I have a chance to take a shot I always take it.”

On if he celebrates a goal differently when scored from distance and close range…
“No. It’s kind of habit. I keep scoring that kind of goal so any time I score that kind of goal I think it’s kind of cool because I know always score that kind of goal so it’s no different to me.”

On the team feeling heading into the match against Orange County Blues FC…
“It’s great because if you lose everyone is down, but as soon as you win the moral is up so we keep talking to each other. If we want to make it to the playoffs we have to keep pushing. We keep pushing and we keep going and that’s what happened today.”

On if he could hear the crowd…
“As soon as I got the ball, the crowd was like ‘come on, come on’, so I tried to take it and say, ‘my friends are behind me.’ Every time [the crowd] supports us so I keep pushing and going. I think [the crowd] is great. Every time we come to Merlo they push us to win, even though sometimes we lose, they don’t care. They still push us to get the three points.”