Victoria Highlanders FC travel back to Victoria following two tough losses in their opening weekend versus a strong Calgary side. The results give Foothills six points in the first week of the Premier Development League (PDL).
“We came short in both games not for the lack of effort and opportunities,” commented Highlanders Head Coach Thomas Niendorf, “We competed well on an even level with our opponent, showing very good team mentality to deal with difficult conditions.We have a lot of positives to take forward and at the same time, will address our shortcomings to accomplish better game results in the upcoming games. We simply need to be better and stronger in critical moments of the game.”
A 2-0 loss in the season opener on Friday following a missed penalty left the team a bit hard done by, despite a strong performance. “We had a very good team performance overall in the first game and felt hard done with the loss,” added Niendorf, “We created a number of very good chances in the first half to take the lead, including a penalty not given on Cory Bent. We did not take our chances, the opponent did.”
Calgary Foothills FC vs Victoria Highlanders FC May 13, 2018. Photo: ©Stuart Gradon/Total Soccer Project
Following the Friday loss the Highlanders were back for revenge on Sunday afternoon ending in a tightly contested 1-0 loss. Niendorf commented on his thoughts following the match.“Both teams neutralized each other for the most part of the game with a solid and uncompromising defensive effort, no clear cut chances were created from either team.”
“Again, the poor field conditions did not allow a controlled build up play and forced us into a playing style we are not accustomed to. We conceded the goal on a deflected corner and were unfortunate not to equalize on a last minute long range shot where the opponent’s goalkeeper made an outstanding save.”
Local talent and starting Centre Back Callum Montgomery commented on the weekend’s results.“We’re disappointed with the two results this weekend. We were unlucky to not come away with any points however that’s soccer. At the end of the day, we lost the key moments and set piece battles and that ended up being the decider and why Calgary won both games.”
“They are a top team in the conference and they showed why this weekend. That being said I’m proud of every one of our guys and the way they played, we never dropped our heads when decisions didn’t go our way or a goal was conceded.”
Montgomery looked towards this weekend’s home opener, “We will regroup, refocus and have a strong week of training before the home opener. I know all the boys are excited and ready to play in front of our amazing fans.”
The team returns to Victoria for their home opener, May 20th against the Portland Timbers at Centennial Stadium.