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Early Goal Lifts Portland Past Toros

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/09/18, 10:52PM EDT


T2 becomes first visitor to win at H-E-B Park this season behind Phillips’ goal

Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC

EDINBURG, Texas – The Portland Timbers 2 got an early goal and then held firm for an eighth shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night at H-E-B Park. Toros midfielder Todd Wharton produced a good low save by T2 goalkeeper Alex Mangels in the seventh minute with a shot from distance to the left corner, but the visitors took the lead in the 14th minute when a corner kick from the left by Jack Barmby picked out Josh Phillips at the near post for a good header into the right corner. Portland midfielder Andre Lewis had to make an important block as Wharton looked for an equalizer nine minutes later, and the Toros continued to carry much of the play as T2 defensively had to work hard to snuff out chances that included a big sliding challenge by Renzo Zambrano with 15 minutes to go to deny a clear chance for RGVFC’s Matias Zaldivar 10 yards out. Portland could have added to its lead late on as the game became stretched and Marvin Loria almost found the net from distance in the 79th minute. The visitors also went close four minutes later as Toros goalkeeper Nico Corti made a good tight-angle save on Augustine Williams, but the hosts were unable to produce any big late chances as their undefeated home record went by the wayside.

14’ – POR – Josh Phillips (Jack Barmby)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. Portland had chances late on to add an insurance goal to Josh Phillips’ game-winner, but the side could take some added confidence from the fact that it held its one-goal advantage after last week’s disappointment in San Antonio. Now guaranteed to be in at least a top-three place at the end of this weekend’s action, T2 continues to be one of the best stories of the season so far, with this bounce-back victory exactly the sort of reaction Head Coach Cameron Knowles would have hoped for from his side.

  • 2. Portland had to absorb plenty of pressure as the visitors were outshot 17-7 on the night, but after scoring the opening goal of the contest Josh Phillips and his defensive cohorts put in a solid shift to ensure only two of those efforts ended up officially as shots on goal. T2’s defense recorded eight blocked shots on the night, while Phillips had eight clearances and three interceptions in a resolute display that saw T2 reach its eighth win of the season.

  • 3. The Toros’ undefeated record at H-E-B Park this season came to an end on Saturday night, and only added to the pressure that’s starting to build on the side to start stringing some wins together to get back into playoff contention. With the Toros now sitting 10 points out of the playoff places as it nears the midway point of the season the side needs to start playing that little bit quicker in the attacking third to give itself a chance to take advantage of more of its opportunities. Man of the Match

Josh Phillips, Portland Timbers 2 – Phillips scored his first goal for his new club and then put in a strong defensive display to ensure the visitors came away with all three points.

Upcoming Games:

Rio Grande Valley FC at OKC Energy FC – June 16, 8:30 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium

Portland Timbers 2 vs. OKC Energy FC – June 13, 10 p.m. ET, Providence Park

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