September 30, 2018
International Portland Select FC jumped out to an early lead thanks to a hat trick from striker Nathan Pogue within the opening half-hour and coasted to victory, 3-0, over Logrones.
The Sunday evening match kicked off with a bit of back-and-forth, as Logoones sat back and looked to attack on the counter, while IPSFC possessed and tried to find its forwards with balls over the top. Pogue did things on his own to open the scoring in the 17thminute, however, stealing a throw-in deep in Logrones territory, marching in alone on the right, and deftly placing a left-footed shot off the inside of the near post and into the net.
Pogue would double the lead five minutes later when new arrival Paco Thomas sent him a through ball down the right side. The striker muscled his defender off the ball and marched in alone on the keeper, who had no chance in the one-on-one. Pogue then completed his ten-minute hat trick shortly thereafter on a similar play down the other flank. This time, veteran fullback Ivan Caceres played a long ball over the top and again the forward used his strength to body a would-be defender and march in on the keeper from a tight angle, and his right-footed shot found the inside netting of the far post.
Logrones attempted to answer back quickly and a shot from Jacob Young, their most threatening player on the evening, sailed over the crossbar. A quick response from IPSFC saw midfielder Pablo Salinas rip a shot right at Logoones keeper Cameron La Fleur. From there, IPSFC began to enjoy long spells of possession, at one point holding the ball for a minute-and-a-half and stringing together 25 consecutive passes, and they went into the half with a comfortable advantage.
Logrones got their best chance of the game minutes after the restart when IPSFC goalkeeper Bernardo Palma’s attempted clearance struck off center-back Adam King’s back and ricocheted directly to an opposing attacker. It appeared his bouncing shot would find the back of an empty net, but defender Liam Anderson came to the rescue with a flying, low header to clear the ball off the line.
The next couple of chances would fall to IPSFC winger Paco Thomas, a danger down the right flank all game long, first on a free kick hit directly at the keeper and then with a left-footed screamer that flashed over the bar. Former IPSFC and current Logrones midfielder Gerson Mejia began to make his presence felt in the attacking third, creating several chances for himself and his teammates, but none of them were able to beat Palma, who earned his first clean sheet as a member of IPSFC.
The 3-0 win was International Portland Select FC’s second of the young Fall season and its first shutout since November 9thof last year, when the team took down Suki’s FC 5-0. Up next for IPSFC is a match against NEU*PDX Premier on Sunday, October 7 at 6 pm.
Photos by Ben McFarland