The Portland High boys’ soccer team has talent across the field and it was on display Tuesday night at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

And, when some of the top Bulldogs had to come off the field with a variety of cramps, minor injuries and three second-half yellow cards, Portland also showed its roster is deep. The reserves held it together to maintain a one-goal lead against Falmouth.

Then, with top midfielders Martin Kalala-Wasukundi, Felisberto Mamuisa, and Baptista Muanda back on the field, senior forward Max Kierstead buried a 25-yard shot that curled into the top left corner to cinch up the 2-0 Class A South victory.

“I’ve seen some goals scored down at that end in my career and that’s one of the finest goals. It was a thing of beauty,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzill, in his 37th year.

Portland improved to 3-0-1. Falmouth slipped to 1-2-1 in a deep league. Entering Tuesday’s action, Windham was the only Class A South team with a perfect record and 15 of 17 teams have at least one win barely two weeks into the season.

“I’ve seen all the teams. Portland has more talent than any of them,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan.

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Portland has the ball-winning, play-making midfield, attacking options and solid defense needed to be a top-tier contender.

“I just like these young men. I like what they’re doing,” Frenzilli said. “They put forth great effort in practice. Maybe some of that fancy Dan stuff we could do without but the way they cover the field, their balance, their poise. You’re right. They’re special. You have to say it. As their coach, yes, but also as an observer of the game of soccer.”

Portland controlled the game through its midfield, with wing forwards Brandon Chacon, Paulo Joao and especially the very fast Isaac Rodrigues-Nkanza generating top quality chances. The Bulldogs had significant edges in shots (29-8) and corner kicks (7-1). Falmouth sophomore keeper Caden Berry made 14 saves.

Portland took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick goal by Kalala-Wasukundi with six seconds left in the first half. Falmouth was called for a handball on a corner kick while trying to clear a header by Ronan Mas.

“I was very happy because I could score because it had been three games that I hadn’t scored, so it was very important to me,” said Kalala-Wasukundi.

Portland’s defensive unit features Mas and Jonatas Onosaamba Calombo as two tall center backs, with steady, calming Esa Antonio and offensive minded Luis Ordonez-Franco on the outside. They kept Falmouth away from goalie Calvin Hale who made six saves, most coming on direct kick set pieces.

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Portland has posted three straight shutouts after a season-opening 1-1 tie with Gorham.

“That just comes from good communication in the back. We have an insanely talented backline. Everyone works hard,” Mas said. “Everyone’s fighting for the ball and we’ve got midfielders who come back, too.”

Perhaps the one thing Portland could use is more efficiency with finishing its many chances. Kierstead said he was “a little frustrated” for much of the game as he’d failed to come up with a clean strike on previous looks. But when the natural right-footer let go with his left-footed blast, any frustration was lifted.

“That one. It felt good,” Kierstead said.

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