Timbers rally to beat Energy on three second-half goals
Last weekend Energy FC was celebrating its biggest comeback in club history to earn a draw against Reno. On Saturday night, the shoe was on the other foot.
Energy FC dominated the first half of play only to see the Portland Timbers score three goals in the second half to deal the Greens a heartbreaking 3-2 loss at Taft Stadium.
Ryan Sierakowski’s goal in the first minute of stoppage time in the second half completed the comeback for Portland as the Timbers rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit.
“Tonight, we are on the other end of it,” Energy FC coach Steve Cooke said. “All of us, coaches and players, should understand that that can happen. We have to make sure we play with more intelligence.”
Cooke was not happy with the three second-half goals by Portland.
“The three goals we gave away, give credit to Portland, but from our point of view those are bad goals,” Cooke said.
Cooke said the loss would be a great lesson for his club.
“Life is too easy when you are doing really great and everyone is patting you on the back,” Cooke said. “It’s only through difficult times, it’s only through tough ones like tonight, that you find out about everybody involved…
“You find out if people have got the stomach for the fight. I know in that locker room we’ve got an incredibly good bunch of players…
“I know it hurts them now and I know they will come back very, very strong. I know they will put the work in. I know they will dissappointed but resolute in making sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Oklahoma City was playing without its leading scorer Deshorn Brown, who was injured in training before last week’s 3-3 draw at Reno. Cooke said Brown “tweaked” his knee but should be back soon.
On Saturday night, it seemed early on that scoring would not be a problem for Energy FC. Mike Da Fonte scored the first goal of the match in his Taft Stadium debut, and Cordell Cato later found the net in the first half for the second time this season.
Da Fonte, who signed March 28 following the season-ending knee injury to Nicolas Taravel, scored on a header 21 minutes and 15 seconds into the match inside the box off a corner kick from Alexy Bosetti.
Less than three minutes later, Cato scored from very close range on an assist from Deer Creek High School product Christian Ibeagha and Energy FC carried a 2-0 lead into halftime.
The loss dropped Energy FC to 2-2-1 on the season. Oklahoma City is on the road Saturday at Rio Grande Valley FC before returning to Taft Stadium on April 20 to meet Orange County SC.