USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 3, Phoenix Rising FC: 5

PORTLAND, Ore. – In Week 31 of the USL Championship season, 10-man T2 fell 5-3 to Phoenix Rising FC at Providence Park on Saturday night. Brayan Hurtado tallied his seventh goal of 2019, while Gio Calixtro scored his fifth goal this season.  

Playoff picture
With three matches remaining on their regular-season schedule, T2 (10-13-8, 38pts, -1GD) sit in 13th place in the Western Conference standings. Portland has a game in hand and trail San Antonio FC (11th, 41pts, +6GD) by three points, ahead of their regular-season home finale at Providence Park on Friday, Oct. 11. Portland sits four points behind New Mexico United (10th, 42pts, +1GD) for the final spot in the USL Championship playoffs.

Key plays
Phoenix took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Kevon Lambert finished a low cross from close range.

In the 21st minute, a failed clearance inside the box fell to Carlos Anguiano, whose volleyed effort was saved by Phoenix goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski.

T2 leveled the match at 1-1 in the 24th minute after Hurtado’s low cross into the six-yard box was spilled by Woszczynski. Calixtro was first to the loose ball and fired a swiveling shot into the back of the net from close range.

Rising FC scored in the 35th minute when Ben Spencer finished a low cross from inside the center of the penalty area to give his side a 2-1 advantage.

On the front foot to begin the second half, Nathan Smith’s long-distance shot missed to the right of the target in the 49th minute.

Phoenix took a 3-1 lead when Junior Flemmings’ shot from the right side of the box found the back of the net in the 54th minute.

After receiving a pass from Anguiano in the 65th minute, Cristian Ojeda unleashed a left-footed curling shot from the top of the box, forcing a diving stop by Woszczynski.

T2 were reduced to 10 men after Arturo Diz Pe was issued a red card in the 66th minute.

Phoenix added a fourth goal in the 70th minute when Spencer’s shot from the left edge of the penalty area beat T2 goalkeeper Jake Leeker at the far post.

T2 scored in the 73rd minute when Anguiano’s long ball released Hurtado behind the Phoenix backline. Taking a touch just outside the 18-yard box, Hurtado chipped the ball past Woszczynski to make it a 4-2 score line. The assist marked Anguiano’s fifth of the USL Championship campaign. Two minutes later, Phoenix defender Austin Ledbetter passed the ball into his own goal to cut Portland’s deficit to 4-3.

Portland nearly scored in the 83rd minute after Anguiano laid the ball off for Harold Hanson, who hit a first-timed shot from the edge of the box that curled inches past the right post.

Phoenix increased its lead to 5-3 in the 88th minute after Jose Aguinaga’s curling shot from the left side of the box found the far corner of the net.

T2 had a pair of shots cleared off the line in stoppage time. Smith’s low shot from the left edge of the penalty area was cleared away by a Phoenix defender and the ensuing rebound fell to Ryan Sierakowski in the center of the box, but his shot at the far post was saved off the line.

Next game
Next up, T2 play host to San Antonio FC at Providence Park on Friday, Oct. 11. Beginning at 7 p.m. (Pacific), the match against San Antonio will be streamed live on ESPN+. Tickets for the Oct. 11 match are available online at www.timbers2.com

Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles
General thoughts on the match…
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. They’re a good team with good players and they’ve had a lot of confidence from the results they’ve had throughout the course of the season, but I think we were up to the task and I think we showed it for large portions of the match. We went toe-to-toe with them and I’m proud of the effort our guys put in.”

On the team’s fight late in the second half…
“We saw an opportunity, they took their foot off the gas and I think maybe they were thinking that at that point the game was done and our guys, credit to them, they stepped up and they made up for not having the extra player and put the opposition under a lot of pressure, created some chances and we had a really good go at it for a while.”

On what he expects in the regular-season home finale against San Antonio FC next week…
“It’s going to be another tough game. They’re [San Antonio FC] fighting for the playoffs as much as we are and the result is going to hinge on that, so it’s going to be a very difficult game for both teams and the points are going to matter.”

T2 (10-13-8, 38pts) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (23-3-6, 75pts) 
Oct. 5, 2019 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                  1          2          F
T2                                   1          2           3
Phoenix Rising FC          2          3          5

Scoring Summary:
PHX: Lambert (Bjornethun), 4
POR: Calixtro, 24
PHX: Spencer (Asante), 35
PHX: Flemmings (Aguinaga), 54
PHX: Spencer (Aguinaga), 70
POR: Hurtado (Anguiano), 73
POR: Own goal, 76
PHX: Aguinaga (Calistri), 88

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Ojeda (caution), 31

POR: Anguiano (caution), 31
PHX: Lambert (caution), 38
POR: Diz Pe (caution), 45+4
POR: Diz Pe (ejection), 66
PHX: Mala (caution), 82
POR: Wharton (caution), 86
POR: Ornstil (caution), 86

POR: GK Leeker, D Hanson, D Diz Pe, D Ornstil, D Smith, M Ojeda (Langsdorf, 71), M Wharton ©, M Anguiano, M Hurtado, F Sierakowski, F Calixtro (Kiner, 71)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lyon, D Sánchez, M Clapier, M Kobayashi

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Smith, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Six players tied, 1); FOULS: 13 (Diz Pe, Smith, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 6

PHX: GK Woszczynski, D Ledbetter, D Farrell, D Mala, D Bjornethun, D Lambert, M Aguinaga, M Calistri, M Asante © (Bakero, 72), M Spencer (Dumbuya, 83), F Flemmings (Dia, 71)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lubin, M Musa, D Cochran, D Whelan

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Six players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 11 (Four players tied, 4); FOULS: 11 (Three players tied, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2

Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referees: Christian Clerc, Joshua Haimes
4th Official: Eric Krueger
Attendance: 1,213
Weather: Clear, 60 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial