USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 6, Tacoma Defiance: 3

PORTLAND, Ore. – In Week 29 of the USL Championship season, T2 earned a 6-3 victory over the Tacoma Defiance at Providence Park on Friday night. Five different players scored in the win for Portland as Dairon Asprilla tallied a brace and an assist, while Foster Langsdorf registered two assists.

T2 against Tacoma Defiance
With the victory over the Defiance, T2 earned the season sweep over Tacoma (2-0-0). T2 defeated the Defiance 4-1 at Cheney Stadium on May 12. Notably, Asprilla tallied a brace in both wins over Tacoma in 2019.

Playoff picture
With the win, Portland (10-11-8, 38pts, +2GD) moved into 11th place in the Western Conference standings, level on points with 10th-place San Antonio FC (10-11-8, 38pts, +6GD), which occupies the final playoff spot. T2 next play host to seventh-place Austin Bold FC (11-11-7, 40pts, -1GD) at Providence Park on Sunday, Sept. 29.

Goal tally
T2 scored three headed goals in the win against the Defiance. Ryan Sierakowski, Brayan Hurtado and Asprilla each found the back of the net via headed finishes. Sierakowski ranks tied for second on the team with Langsdorf with seven goals, while Hurtado tallied his sixth goal this season. Eryk Williamson scored T2’s second goal from a direct free kick in 2019, his fourth goal of the year, while Asprilla converted Portland’s eighth goal from the penalty spot. Carlos Anguiano scored his second goal of the campaign.

Key plays
T2 took a 1-0 lead in the third minute after Asprilla’s cross from the right wing found the run of Hurtado, whose header just outside the six-yard box was powered into the back of the net.

T2 doubled their lead in the 22nd minute after Langsdorf received the ball down the right flank and floated a cross into the penalty area to Asprilla, who fired his header past Tacoma goalkeeper Trey Muse.

Portland nearly scored two minutes later when Anguiano’s corner kick delivery found the head of Max Ornstil, forcing Muse into a diving save. The ensuing rebound fell to Sierakowski, but Muse reacted quickly to deny his left-footed shot. Continuing to pressure Tacoma, Harold Hanson played a long ball to Langsdorf at the back post, but his shot at the near post was parried aside by Muse in the 25th minute.

Continuing on the attack in the 26th minute, Marco Farfan beat his marker down the left flank and found Sierakowski on the edge of the box. Sierakowski flicked the ball to Hurtado, whose shot from inside the penalty area was saved.

Portland took a 3-0 lead after Hanson made an overlapping run down the right wing and delivered a looping cross into the six-yard box to Sierakowski, whose leaping header beat Muse at the near post.

Tacoma cut into T2’s lead after Alex Roldan finished past T2 goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic from a tight angle inside the penalty area to make it 3-1 in the 42nd minute.

T2 added a fourth goal just before halftime after Williamson’s free kick from the left edge of the penalty area hit the underside of the crossbar at the far corner and crossed the line to give Portland a 4-1 advantage in the 45th minute.

After Langsdorf earned a penalty at the start of the second half, Asprilla fired his penalty-kick attempt past the outstretched arms of Muse to give Portland a 5-1 lead in the 48th minute. The finish marked Asprilla’s third goal from the penalty spot for T2 in 2019.

Tacoma scored in the 54th minute after Justin Dhillon was released in behind Portland’s back line and tucked his finish into the far corner to make it 5-2.

Portland took a 6-2 lead in the 82nd minute after Langsdorf laid the ball off to Anguiano, whose first-timed shot from just inside the 18-yard box was curled into the far corner of the net.

Tacoma scored to make it 6-3 in the 90th minute after Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez pounced on a turnover and slotted his finish from close range.

Next game
Next up, T2 play host to Austin Bold FC at Providence Park on Sunday, Sept. 29. Beginning at 1 p.m. (Pacific), the match against Austin will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles
On what clicked for the team...
“We had a lot of guys play up to their standard, collectively and individually, and they maintained that standard through the majority of that game. And I think they continued to play selflessly. I think that last goal, where we complete that extra pass to guarantee that the ball’s in the back of the net, those moments we saw throughout the game where guys played for each other, and that’s really important.”

On individual performances tonight...
“It would be hard to single out any one player. I think there were a number of guys that played very, very well tonight, and some that we’ve seen some of their best performances. So when that happens, when you have that many guys playing well individually, you’re more often than not going to end up with a good result.”

On what it means for the team moving forward in the playoff race...
“Well, it’s going to be tight. It’s going to be a tight race that’s going to go down to the wire. There’s a number of good teams fighting for those playoff positions, and it’s an important three points. We have to reflect on it, honestly. There’s a few times we let our guard down, and we’re going to have to sharpen those moments up as we head into these next five games.”

T2 (10-11-8, 38pts) vs. Tacoma Defiance (5-19-5, 20pts) 
Sept. 20, 2019 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
T2                                 4          2          6
Tacoma Defiance          1          2          3         

Scoring Summary:
POR: Hurtado (Asprilla), 3
POR: Asprilla (Langsdorf), 22
POR: Sierakowski (Hanson), 40
TAC: Roldan (Bwana), 42
POR: Williamson, 45
POR: Asprilla (penalty kick), 48
TAC: Dhillon, 53
POR: Anguiano (Langsdorf), 83
TAC: Ocampo-Chavez (Robinson), 90

Misconduct Summary:
TAC: Daley (caution), 44
TAC: Dhillon (caution), 53
POR: Asprilla (caution), 58

POR: GK D Hanson (Kiner, 81), D Ornstil, D Wharton ©, D Farfan (Smith, 45), M Asprilla, M Williamson, M Anguiano, M Hurtado (Ojeda, 58), F Langsdorf,

Substitutes Not Used: GK Leeker, D Ferguson, M Clapier, F Calixtro

TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Sierakowski, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 13 (Hurtado, 3); FOULS: 13 (Asprilla, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 3

TAC: GK Muse, D Daley, D Berkolds, D Rogers, D Villanueva (Hinds, 56), M Atencio © (Ocampo-Chavez, 56), M Hegardt (Robinson, 74), M Robles, F Roldan, F Dhillon, F Bwana

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lee, M Dobbelaene, M Hopeau, F Serrano

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Dhillon, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Dhillon, 3); FOULS: 12 (Dhillon, 6); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 8

Referee: Matthew Thompson
Assistant Referees: Andrew Marihart, Ryan Jung
4th Official: Mike Hohnholz
Attendance: 1,504
Weather: Clear, 60 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial