Victoria Highlanders FC (3W-0D-7L) closed out their three-game road trip with a 4-1 defeat to Portland Timbers U-23 (6W-1D-5L), July 2 in Salem, Oregon.

Christo Michaelson led the charge for Timbers with a two-goal opening half, while striker Sho Goto answered back for Victoria. Benji Michel and Alex Segovia rounded out the Timbers scoring on the day.

Timbers U-23 came strong out of the gate, Sunday afternoon, putting pressure on the visiting Highlanders, who were coming off a match less than 24 hours prior versus Lane United FC.

It wasn’t until the half-hour mark that Portland was able to break through, going up 1-0 following a scramble in front of the Highlanders goal. A late goal in the opening half saw the home side heading into the break with a 2-0 lead.

An inspired Victoria side came out in the second half, and were rewarded early with a penalty kick opportunity after striker Fabian Kurimata was taken down inside the 18-yard-box. Teammate Goto stepped up to the spot, sending a strike to the back of the net to cut the Timbers lead to a goal, 2-1.

Unfortunately, Timbers would strike again in the 79th minute to restore their two-goal cushion.

Pushing numbers forward on a late free kick opportunity at midfield, Victoria would be caught on the counter-attack, with Timbers U-23 taking advantage to convert their fourth and final goal of the match just before the whistle.

The match was the third in four days for the Highlanders, who will next head to Seattle on Friday, July 7 to face Sounders U-23. Victoria then returns home for their penultimate match of the year at Centennial Stadium on Sunday, July 9 at 2:00 p.m.