Timbers U23s Score Three Times but Stumble to Reno 1868 FC in US Open Cup

The Timbers held a 3-2 lead on Wednesday but lost on the road at Reno. (Photo Credit: Kendrick Arakaki)

RENO, Nev. – The Timbers U23s had a 2-0 lead late into stoppage time in the first half against USL side Reno 1868 FC, but the home side scored just before the half, and ultimately came from behind to win, 7-3, ending the Timbers U23 run in the 2018 US Open Cup.

“We have a lot of guys in this room that will be playing professionally in the future,” said Timbers U23 head coach Aaron Lewis. “As a group, they showed their quality, but we’ll need to eliminate the lapses during critical moments moving forward. At this level, if you lose concentration, the teams have the ability to punish you.”

The Timbers U23s actually took a 3-2 lead midway through the second half as well, but Reno 1868 FC rallied for five unanswered goals, resulting in the four-goal defeat on the road.

Over the course of the first 20 minutes, the Timbers U23s looked the better side, garnering the majority of possession while creating some chances. In the 25th minute, however, Rey Ortiz curled a free kick that was headed for the top corner, but the shot was saved off the crossbar, and it fell right in the path of Ryo Shimazaki who tapped it in to give the Timbers U23s a 1-0 lead.

Then in the 40th minute, Wouter Verstraaten headed home a beautiful corner kick to make it 2-0 and give the visitors the unlikely two-goal lead.

It looked like that would be the halftime score, but Reno 1868 scored just before the stroke of halftime, making it a 2-1 game heading into the break.

In the second half, the home side struck almost immediately, leveling the score at 2-2.

In the 58th minute, however, the Timbers U23s applied some high pressure, forcing a back-pass from Reno 1868 FC, and the ball skipped past the goalkeeper and into the net for the own goal, putting the USLPDL squad back up 3-2.

A penalty kick tied the game up at 3-3 not long after, and then four more goals from the USL side over the course of the final 20 minutes sealed the win for Reno 1868 FC.

The loss eliminates the Timbers U23s from the 2018 US Open Cup, now turning the team’s focus towards the 2018 USLPDL season. The squad opens the PDL season on the road in Canada on Friday at Swangard against the TSS FC Rovers. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. north of the border.


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