Midfielder John Klein scored his fourth goal in his last four games
St Louis CITY2 took care of business on the road against Portland Timbers2, overcoming an early deficit to beat the home side in a hard-fought match.
Timbers2 took their early lead by capitalizing on a CITY2 foul, crossing a free kick into the box where an attacker flicked it past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Christian Olivares in the 5th minute. Sensing a chance to increase their advantage, Portland moved the ball deep into CITY2’s half on an odd man rush just minutes later, but stout defending from Olivares and CITY2’s backline squashed the attack and kept it a one-goal game.
Portland put together another threatening chance in the 18th minute, feeding an attacker with a long chip into CITY2’s half to set up a one-on-one opportunity, but Olivares charged off his line and deflected the ball out of bounds with a slide. In the 24th minute, midfielder Wan Kuzain wove a pass between a pair of Timbers2 defenders to hit midfielder John Klein in stride on a run into Portland’s box, but the subsequent shot whipped directly towards the home side’s goalkeeper. It wasn’t much longer before CITY2 equalized, though. Collecting a dump off from Klein located just outside Timbers2’s box, midfielder Faysal Bettache sliced up field before curling a clinical finish past the diving goalkeeper.
Five minutes later, CITY2 took the lead after dissecting a retreating Portland backline. With a flurry of passes between Bettache and Wan Kuzain occupying Timbers2’s defensive focus, Klein snuck into the box and then headed home a cross from Wan Kuzain to put CITY2 up 2-1 going into the break.
Portland responded with a pair of pushes of their own coming out of halftime. Their first chance, an uncontested, close-range header off a cross from outside the box, floated over the crossbar, and then their second chance was swallowed up by Olivares as he fell to the ground.
In the 72nd minute, Klein came inches away from adding a second goal on the day when he beamed a strike from outside, but the ball clipped the post and then was cleared by Timbers2. With CITY2 stifling Portland’s ability to maneuver downfield, it wasn’t until the 89th minute that Timbers2 had their best chance to equalize. The home side sent an arcing cross towards the middle of the box that found an open attacker, but the header upon reception of the pass fluttered into Olivares’ arms. The away side controlled the rest of the game to lock up their 2-1 win.
CITY2 will return to CITYPARK on Sunday, May 28, for their second meeting with North Texas SC on the season.
AJ Palazzolo (Max Schneider 60’), Larsen Hackworth (Anthony Faupel 75’), Christian Olivares, Faysal Bettache, Wan Kuzain (Josh Maher 81’), Fritz Volmar, Nathan Ferguson (Dida Armstrong 81’), Sergio Rivas (Owen O’Malley 60’), Ezra Armstrong, John Klein, Michael Wentzel ©
SUBSTITUTES NOT USED:
Ryley Gibbs (out), Eric Walker