In the club’s second match since the restart of the USL Championship season, Tacoma Defiance (1-2-1, 4 points) put on a show at home against Portland Timbers 2 (0-2-0, 0 points) with an emphatic 3-0 victory. Saturday’s match in the South Sound marked Tacoma’s first home contest inside Cheney Stadium since March 11 due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Tacoma returns to Cheney in five days’ time, with Defiance playing host to Reno 1868 FC on Thursday, July 23 (7:30 p.m. PT / ESPN+). Like today’s match, that game is being played behind closed doors.
Alec Díaz got the hosts off to a fast start in the 14th minute, breaking through Portland’s high line and pouncing onto a weighted through ball from fullback Antonee Burke-Gilroy. With Portland’s defense trailing, Díaz slotted a low shot into the Timbers’ net, vaulting his team into an early 1-0 lead. For Díaz, the strike was his second goal in as many matches, with the Issaquah native having scored in Monday’s 3-3 draw in Sacramento.
In the 58th minute, Danny Robles doubled Tacoma’s advantage, receiving a short pass on the right side of midfield before cutting to the inside and lining up a shot from the top of the area. With a swing of his favored left foot, Robles hit a powerful shot that leaped over the outstretched arms of Portland goalkeeper Hunter Sulte. Substitute Chino Pérez slotted home Tacoma’s third goal in the 64th minute, just moments after entering the match in the 63rd minute of play.
Saturday’s result marks the first win of the season for Defiance, following a hard-fought road draw on Monday in Sacramento. In the club’s newly-established four-team group following the resumption of play due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Tacoma is now top of Group A (4 points), one point ahead of the club’s next opponent, Reno 1868.
Tacoma Defiance | 3 – 0 | Portland Timbers 2
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Venue: Cheney Stadium
Referee: Adorae Monroy
Assistants: Cameron Siler, Baboucarr Jallow
Fourth Official: Sye Magee
Attendance: Closed to Public
Weather: Sunny, 75 Degrees
TAC – Alec Díaz 14’ (Antonee Burke-Gilroy)
TAC – Danny Robles 58’ (Antonee Burke-Gilroy)
TAC – Chino Pérez 64’
TAC – Sota Kitahara 21’
POR – Max Ornstil 45’
TAC – Antonee Burke Gilroy 52’
POR – Ken Krolicki 60’
POR – Williams Velásquez 61’
TAC – Danny Reynolds 61’
POR – Dyson Claplier 74’
TAC – Reed Baker Whiting 80’
LINEUPS & STATS
Tacoma Defiance – Christian Herrera, Nick Hinds (Danny Reynolds 77’), Taylor Mueller, Sam Rogers, Antonee Burke-Gilroy, Sota Kitahara (Reed Baker-Whiting 77’), Jesse Daly (Colin Fernandez 68’), Azriel Gonzalez (Ray Serrano 63’), Marlon Vargas (Chino Pérez 63’), Danny Robles, Alec Díaz
Substitutes not used: Conrad Lee, Abdoulaye Cissoko
Total shots: 8
Shots on goal: 5
Portland Timbers 2 – Hunter Sulte, Aedan Stanley, Harold Hanson, Williams Velasquez, Max Ornstil, Dyson Clapier, Gerardo Dúran (Salvador Villegas Jr. 68’), Carlos Anguiano, Ken Krolicki (Mitchell Ferguson 82’), Adam Molloy, Giovani Calixtro
Substitutes not used: Kashope Oladapo, Caleb Kiner, Cullen Wilkerson
Total shots: 12
Shots on goal: 2