Reds Battle Calgary to Third Draw
SPRINGFIELD — Lane United battled PDL Northwest Division leader Calgary to a 1-1 draw Thursday at the Les Schwab Sports Park, earning their third point of the season against Foothills FC, the 2016 national runner-up.
After conceding an early goal to Calgary’s Chris Rushworth in the third minute, the Reds (6-5-5 Overall, 3-5-5 PDL) were able to turn time of possession in their favor and create chances looking for an equalizer.
Lane United had several chances to score after the goal from Rushworth. Jordan Jones, Akeem Ward and Nick Moon all had shots that were on target from inside the box and out, but couldn’t find a finish as Calgary keeper Dylon Powley made four saves in nine minutes.
Those opportunities finally culminated with a goal in the 39th minute from Jones, his seventh of the season. Nick Moon had a nice run up the middle and Jones alone in the box as he was able to put it away past Powley.
“The response was great after giving up the early goal,” Lane United head coach John Galas said. “We kept at it. I thought our possession and our build up was great. Our ability to get in behind a very organized defense was excellent and we got the goal back.”
Lane United has given Foothills FC (7-1-3 PDL) problems in all three meetings this season, including two draws in Calgary last month where the home side currently is riding a 15 match unbeaten streak.
After falling out of contention for the playoffs with a loss last week, Lane United’s goal in the final matches of the season has been to play hard and put pressure on the teams ahead of them who are still in the playoff hunt. They were able to do that Thursday.
“They didn’t know how to deal with what we were doing in the first half,” Lane United defender Akeem Ward said. “I was on their side (of the field) and the coach was confused. They didn’t know what to do. Then the red card came in the second half and it got a little chippy after that. Both teams were getting after it and it made the last three minutes feel like 10. We could have gotten a result, but sometimes that’s football.”
That red card came in the 63rd minute when Lane United’s Mitch LaGro was issued his second caution of the match. That led to physical play, confrontations with the referee and several more fouls from both sides that ultimately ended with another red card. This time shown to Calgary’s Nico Pasquotti in stoppage time when he received his second caution.
The ability of the Reds to break down a very organized Calgary side and make them look uncomfortable for much of the match was a good sign for the remainder of the season. Not only the friendly at home on Saturday and then on the road next week, but when Portland Timbers U23 visit for the PDL season finale next Sunday.
“It took us awhile as a club to figure out our identity and to understand it’s a 14 game season,” Galas said. “We can’t afford a draw against TSS or dropping points when we dominate Victoria. We win games like that and we’re talking about a playoff position for us right now with the quality we had on this field. I’m proud of the boys because they haven’t quit. You saw that tonight and you’ll see that next Sunday in the finale.”
After battling one of the best teams in the country to a third draw on the season the Reds sit at 14 points in the division, the most Lane United has tallied in its short four year history as a PDL franchise. Certainly something to build on as Lane United looks to make that 17 points on the season when Portland visits for the season finale next Sunday.
UP NEXT: Lane United hosts Berliner Weisse FC Saturday night at 7:30pm in the fourth and final home friendly of the season. Click here to get tickets and support your Reds!