LUFC Falls at Victoria
VICTORIA, British Columbia — The Victoria Highlanders scored two early goals before the 10 minute mark of the first half, putting Lane United (0-1-1) in a hole it couldn’t recover from before ultimately falling by a 4-1 score at Centennial Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Reds outplayed Victoria (1-0-0) in several aspects throughout the game, however they couldn’t convert chances in front of the goal and misplayed too many balls in the middle and back of the pitch that led to opportunities for the Highlanders.
Head coach John Galas has stressed the need to stay better organized, improve 1v1 defending and keep better possession of the ball multiple times after the first two games of the season, three things that didn’t go well for Lane United Sunday.
“Obviously it wasn’t the start we wanted, and we dug ourselves a big hole,” Galas said. “We conceded a silly goal with poor individual defending. We have to be more disciplined with our decision making and possession.”
Galas will continue to stress these aspects of the game when the Reds resume training this week in preparation for Friday’s second home friendly of the season against FC Cougars at the Les Schwab Sports Park.
“We don’t have a real preseason, so getting guys on the same page quickly is always difficult in this league,” Galas said. “At the same time these guys are coming in from top programs and we expect them to make better decisions honestly. That has to be our mindset heading into training this week and the friendly on Friday.”
Lane United had several opportunities to get back into the game after conceding the two early goals, but they were unable to get on the finishing end of them. The bright spot came when Isma Fernandez was able to dribble past two Highlander defenders near the end line left of the goal and finish past Highlanders goalkeeper Simon Norgrove.
A continuing issue for Lane United early in the season has been trying to play the perfect ball instead of whipping it in with some pace and letting something happen. Assistant coach Conner Cappelletti has been urging the Reds to let the easy plays come instead of forcing the action.
“You have to be a little more decisive and read the game accordingly,” Cappelletti said. “Sometimes the easiest pass is the one that’s five yards away right in front of you. Obviously everyone wants to play that perfect through ball to someone’s head or foot, but it’s a lot easier said than done. You have to make the play that’s in front of you.”
Not all is lost on the weekend for the Reds, who return home after earning an away point in a 2-2 draw with TSS Rovers on Friday night. Lane United kept fighting after falling behind by three goals on the road, something that bodes well for the rest of the season.
“I liked the attitude and the urgency more this game than the last one,” Cappelletti said. “We kept battling, but we couldn’t get the second goal we were looking for that would have made the game a lot more interesting. The chances were there and that attitude we saw in the second half needs to be a recurring theme, we need that same mentality right out of the gate.”