TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma Defiance claimed the regular season series with a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 on Sunday afternoon at Cheney Stadium that earned their third win in the five meetings between the clubs this season.
Looking to claim their third consecutive win against Defiance, T2 had the better of the early going. The visitors went close to opening the scoring in the ninth minute when a corner from the right by Carlos Anguiano found Williams Velásquez at the back post, but his header slid wide of the left upright.
Portland continued to make the more of its possession to open and in the 20th minute Harold Hanson made an ambitious effort to chip Tacoma goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky from 35 yards, only for his effort to drift just over the crossbar.
The Defiance grabbed the lead just before the half-hour mark, however, as Ray Serrano intercepted a loose pass into the center of midfield and quickly found Danny Robles to his left. Robles delivered a through-ball that found the run of Ethan Dobbelaere into the left side of the penalty area, and the U.S. youth international picked out a low finish to the right corner.
Tacoma had a chance to double its lead five minutes before halftime as Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez picked up possession on the right side. Ocampo-Chavez initially cut centrally and then turned his defender as he broke back onto his left foot but sent his finish well over the crossbar.
T2 almost got back on level terms seven minutes into the second half as Marcus Epps got into the left side of the penalty area and slid a low ball across the top of the six-yard area. The pass found Dyson Clapier, whose low finish was denied by Klenofsky. Jorge Gonzalez also went close with a shot from distance in the 66th minute that Klenofsky turned wide of the right post.
The Defiance grabbed a second goal with five minutes to go, however, as Alec Diaz seized on a poor goal kick and quickly drove forward before slipping a pass to Azriel Gonzalez into the penalty area that Gonzalez cleverly lifted past the advancing goalkeeper and into the net. That goal proved crucial moments later as off a corner a header by Jorge Gonzalez was parried by Klenofsky but rebounded into the Tacoma net off Azriel Gonzalez to make it a one-goal-game again.
Portland had one late chance to find an equalizer in stoppage time, too, as Clapier’s low cross from the right found Epps for a first-time finish that was blocked by Klenofsky and cleared to safety by his defense. The Defiance would hold on from there, however, to regain third place in the Group A standings.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Ethan Dobbelaere, Tacoma Defiance – The U.S. youth international scored the opening goal, won 8 of 11 duels and completed 4 of 6 dribbles in a solid two-way performance for the hosts.