VICTORIA, BC – Victoria Highlanders FC (2W-0D-4L) striker Sho Goto scored late in the 88th minute to break a 0-0 stalemate against TSS FC Rovers (1W-3D-5L) and send his side to a 1-0 win, June 23 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.The win snapped a four-match losing streak for Victoria
Assisted by a lovely header from defender Stuart Heath, Goto’s volley from inside of the box found the back of the net. It was the former J-League youth product’s second goal in as many games.
The win gives the Highlanders an advantage in the resurrected, supporter-driven, Juan de Fuca Plate competition. The Plate is awarded to the top Premier Development League team in the province of British Columbia.
Both sides were on the end of some terrific chances throughout the match, with Highlanders’ Andrew Ofosu, Owen Pearce, Francisco Bartolillo and Aidan Moore each coming dangerously close to opening scoring in the match, prior to Goto’s tally.
Timely defending contributed to the Highlanders win as well, with the back line of Heath, Elie Gindo, Jonah Smith and Ryan McCurdy putting in 90 minutes apiece to send goalkeeper Simon Norgrove to his first clean sheet win of the season.
Rovers were given a pair of set piece opportunities in the match’s final minutes, only to watch each one cleared from danger by Victoria. A late 3-versus-1 for the visitors saw veteran striker Paddy Nelson wisely maintaining possession through the final moments to kill the remainder of the clock and send the Highlanders to their second win of the year.
“It was nice to be on the other end of things instead of being the guys having to cope with a bad one of our own at the end of a game,” Highlanders FC head coach Dave Dew said. “We are slowly getting there, over time. It’s just a matter of persevering and we’ll be okay.”
Both teams meet again Sunday at Swangard Stadium, with kick-off set for 7:00 p.m. PST. The Highlanders will be looking to collect another three points from their Canadian rivals and hoist the Juan de Fuca Plate for the first time since 2014.