Match Recap – Portland Timbers U-23s, June 29
Lane United FC cruised to a 5-0 win against the Portland Timbers U-23s on Friday night, a result that sees them vault from fifth place to second in the USL PDL Northwest Division. Nick Moon and Willie Spurr led the Reds with two goals apiece, with the substitute Gloire Amanda adding a fifth late in the second half to round off a comprehensive team performance. The visiting Timbers threatened sporadically in the second half to make up some of the deficit, but ultimately failed to get even one effort past the exceptional Paul Kruse in the Lane United goal.
The Reds started off the match with the vast majority of possession and pressure, with Casey ChubbFertal the first player to get a clear sight of goal when his free header from a corner kick forced Tobias Holstein in the Timbers net to sprawl and tip the goalbound effort over the bar. The Timbers soon after produced what would end up being one of their best chances of the entire match, a 20-yard low bullet half-volley that forced an equally athletic diving save from Kruse at the other end. But the Reds continued knocking on the door and in the 21st minute made their first breakthrough, when ChubbFertal wrapped a pass from the left wing around the back line for Moon to chase—finding himself one-on-one with Holstein, he calmly rolled the ball around the Portland keeper and slotted into an empty net.
Straight from the ensuing kickoff, Lane United ramped up the pressure even further and only 90 seconds later had their second goal of the match through Spurr. With the Reds flooding forward in numbers, Spurr found himself with space to shoot at the top of the penalty arc, and after shifting the ball onto his right foot he made no mistake in burying a curling effort into the bottom right corner. Willie’s brother, Charlie Spurr, nearly got in on the act a few minutes later but missed a 45-yard empty-net shot after Holstein had sold himself completely trying to intercept a ball over the top, and in the 29th minute he was denied by Holstein from a more point-blank range after having been played in by the exceptional Sergio Diaz on the right wing. The torrid pressure continued for the rest of the half, and Moon bagged his second in the 40th minute, taking control of a half-cleared cross, after Diaz and Gerard Hernando had terrorized the Timbers back line yet again, and dispatching the ball into the roof of the net with extreme prejudice from 18 yards.
Portland substituted three quarters of their back line between the 35th minute and the start of the second half in an attempt to stem the bleeding, and for 10 minutes at the start of the second period the strategy appeared to be paying some dividends, with Lane United barely able to string multiple passes together. But despite some worrying spells of pressure from the visitors, the Reds would add a fourth goal in the 57th minute, courtesy of Willie Spurr again. Diaz, who continued his first-half pattern of bamboozling any defender unfortunate enough to be stuck in front of him, this time beat the substitute fullback Alan Cruz at a canter and squared a ball to the right channel of the box for Spurr to gather, stride forward with and slide under the desperately exposed Holstein for 4-0. At this point, the Timbers seemed thoroughly defeated, and they were lucky not to be down a man and another goal when Holstein cleaned out the Lane United substitute Gloire Amanda, who was clear through on goal, with a terribly timed challenge in the 67th minute, only for the referee to look the other way for some reason. Amanda would exact revenge in the late late stages of the game though, exchanging a simple 1-2 with Eduardo Lorente in the Timbers penalty area between some statuesque defenders and thumping home a right-footed finish. The ensuing air-guitar celebration with the corner flag was emblematic of the Klopp-style “heavy-metal football” the Reds had been playing all evening. They now have less than 48 hours to recover before meeting the visiting TSS FC Rovers—fresh off a 1-0 loss to Victoria Highlanders—on Sunday afternoon at 2:00.