North Texas SC started the game well, with an early goal from Hope Avayevu with a second 10 minutes after halftime from Bernard Kamungo. Two late goals from Portland Timbers 2 and a missed penalty kick saw the away side return home with only one point.
Notably, Thomas Roberts returned to the North Texas SC roster with this match, Lucas Bartlett started alongside Paul Amedume with Antonio Carrera anchoring the back.
First big chance of the game for North Texas came just after 10 minutes, when Isaiah Parker broke into the box and received a healthy arm shove from the Portland 2 defender, no call was given.
Soon after Carrera takes one off the chest to deny a T2 chance
GOAL! North Texas struck first, as Hope Avayevu turned home a Colin Smith cross to put the visitors up by one. Smith’s 3rd assist of the season.
21 minutes in and Colin Smith nearly gets his second assist of the match with a fantastic cross into the box.
Antonio Carrera came up huge just past the hour mark, with 2 big saves to keep the home side off the scoresheet. Carrera added to his night with another big save in stoppage time, his 5th of the night.
At halftime, North Texas dominated early but was pinned back for the majority of the latter stages of the first half.
10 minutes from the beginning of the second half… GOAL! After a brace last week versus SKC2, Bernard Kamungo scored again for North Texas, after a midfield interception by Jose Mulato, who ran it into the box and passed it past the Vom Steeg for the tap-in for Bernard.
Prior to this goal, Timbers 2 had control of the game from the start of the second half. But the goal was a huge momentum swing that took the wind out of T2’s sails.
At the hour mark, Portland pulled one back, as Selmir Miscic finished from close range for the home side.
Thomas Roberts checked in for North Texas in the 62nd minute, his first on-field action for the club in a while.
Ismiala Jome scored his first of the season to tie the game with a quarter-hour to play.
5 minutes from full-time, Carrera came up big again with another save from in tight.
After a handball penalty shout, Colin Smith collects the rebound and had a great dribble to beat a defender and get a cross away, which unfortunately was missed just wide by Kamungo.
This was the last chance of the night, as it ended a draw after 90′ but continued with a penalty shootout to determine the extra points.
Despite Carrera guessing the correct direction of the opposing penalty kicks multiple times, the kicks were very well taken by Timbers 2 and were the difference for the extra point, as Amedume missed and the shootout finish 7-6 in favor of the home side.
Thoughts and Takeaways
Smith was once again an attacking force in this match, with many quality crosses into the box as well as an assist on the first goal.
Carrera had a lot to do and ended the night with 7 saves, good work from the young keeper but conceding 9 shots on target to the bottom of the table team is never good.
Coach Pa Modou Kah was positive about Carrera’s efforts tonight, saying “I think this was great for Antonio, he kept us in the game”
Coach Kah on the note of Thomas Roberts making the match for North Texas:He was not getting any minutes with the first team and that is the beauty of having a side in the MLS NEXT Pro because they are able to play and get into rhythm with us.”
Bernard Kamungo mentioned regarding the team’s performance and his goal contribution “It was a trap game, you have to play to your level, and we did not even play to our level… It feels good but when you lose the game it doesn’t feel as good, but when the team isn’t winning it is worthless.”
North Texas returns home with a 4-point lead for the last divisional playoff spot to take on Real Monarchs on the 12th of August.