VICTORIA, BC – Victoria Highlanders FC (2-1-1) welcomed Lane United FC (2-1-3) to Centennial Stadium, June 2nd. It was the second, and final, matchup between these two teams to be played at Centennial Stadium. The visiting team took advantage of their opportunities and walked away with a 3-0 win with goals coming from Sergio Diaz, Charlie Spurr, and a Highlanders’ Own Goal.
The early stages of the first half saw the Highlanders maintain possession of the ball through the midfield, but Lane United was able to bottle up the offensive rushes that the home team created.
Two miscommunications in the Highlanders half of the field resulted in a quick pair of goals for the visiting side. Sergio Diaz struck first in the 27th minute, followed up shortly after with a strike from Charlie Spurr in the 28th minute that put Lane United up 2-0.
The Highlanders found themselves with some chances in the later moments of the half, including a hard shot from Joshua Walter just inside the box that was turned away by a diving Albert Escuin, and a long-distance drive from Victory Shumbusho that was also turned aside by the visiting team’s ‘keeper. The Eugene, Oregon side was able to hold off the home team’s attack and keep their 2-0 lead after 45 minutes.
Victoria came out of halftime looking to put the pressure on Lane United and it showed in the opening minutes. Kensho Ando redirected a Shun Takano cross, but Escuin was able to get enough of the shot to send it wide in the 49th minute. Highlanders’ defender Joshua Banton followed that up with a header of his own that just sailed over the bar in the 53rd minute.
The visiting side sat back in the later stages of the match as they closed in on the passing lanes and pushed the Highlanders out to the wings. After a 90th minute Highlanders’ Own Goal, Lane United FC closed out the match and took the 3-0 win. Escuin picked up the clean sheet.
“We had a great opportunity today, but unfortunately it just didn’t go our way,” stated Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “They have a good team, and they took advantage of our mistakes. We will regroup and look towards getting back to playing the way we know we can when we visit Vancouver.”
Victoria Highlanders FC travel to Vancouver TSS FC Rovers for a Friday night matchup at Swangard Stadium on June 7th. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. in Vancouver. The Highlanders are back home on Sunday, June 16th as they host Timbers U23 at Centennial Stadium. Kickoff for that match is set for 2:00 p.m.