TACOMA, WA. – Coming off three wins in four contests, T2 will face the Tacoma Defiance on September 27 at Cheney Stadium; kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be available on ESPN+ at ESPN.com/watch/espn.
On Thursday night, T2 (3-11-0) earned a 3-1 victory against the Tacoma Defiance (2-9-2) at Providence Park. In the 12th minute, Jorge Gonzalez delivered the first goal of the game with a left-footed strike that shot passed the keeper. Harold Hanson assisted with a cross on the play, his first of the year. With that goal, Gonzalez scored in his fourth straight match and brought his season total to a team-best eight goals. The Defiance tied the match early in the second half, but T2 quickly responded with an unassisted goal from Marcus Epps in the 49th minute. On the play, Epps notched his fourth goal of the campaign, scoring in three consecutive matches. T2 provided insurance when Gonzalez converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute, completing his second brace of the season. Goalkeeper Hunter Sulte earned his first win of the year.
The upcoming match on Sunday will be the fifth and final time the clubs face each other. Tacoma won the first two bouts, but Portland bounced back with wins in their last two contests to even the season series against their division rivals. With the win Thursday, T2 advanced to third place in Group A of the USL Championship. Additionally, Portland’s defense limited Tacoma’s leading scorer Alec Diaz to just two shots during match.
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles commented on the deciding game against Tacoma on Sunday stating, “We’ve played each other four times. They’ve won at home twice and we’ve won at home twice. Now we go up there for the decider.” Knowles also touched on the progression of his team over the course of the season saying, “We’ve had some consistency in our lineups, which has helped with consistency in our performance. You can see guys starting to play well off each other. They understand when runs are going to be made and balls are going to be served, which has translated to consistent results on the pitch.”
Following Sunday’s match, T2 will face off against Sacramento Republic FC in their final match of the season on October 3 at Papa Murphy’s Park; kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), and the match will be available on ESPN+.