Reds Defeat Victoria in Historic Fashion
EUGENE — There was a red wind blowing from the south all afternoon at the Les Schwab Sports Park on Saturday.
Isma Fernandez scored a hat trick as the Reds put away five first half goals to roll past Victoria Highlanders FC 7-1 in the second match in three days between the two sides.
A far cry from Thursday’s match when Lane United had 27 shots but couldn’t finish in a 1-0 defeat, the signature red smoke from the Red Aces filled the air seven times Saturday.
Lane United has often been able to put pressure on opposing sides throughout the season at home by scoring early and continuing to press. That benefited the Reds again against Victoria.
“When we score first we haven’t lost,” head coach John Galas said. “The message after Thursday was just to play the same brand of football and if we finished our first chance, we thought the game would come to us. I’m pleased with the effort, quality of finishing and having several players score.”
Forward Nick Moon recorded two goals of his own, his seventh and eighth of the season to lead Lane United in that category. Meanwhile, Joel Rydstrand scored his first of the year, a beautiful curling finish from 22 yards out after he received a great ball from Akeem Ward. Anthony Macchione put away the Reds last goal that gave Ward his second assist of the afternoon.
In this fourth Premier Development League season of play for the Reds, Saturday’s 7-1 result was the largest margin of victory in a PDL match during Lane United’s short history. A sign of how far the team has come since its inaugural season in 2014 that featured a 7-0 loss at home to Victoria.
The three points earned Saturday give Lane United momentum as division leader Calgary Foothills FC visit the Les Schwab Sports Park Thursday, July 6 for the penultimate PDL match of the 2017 season.
For the Reds, the remaining matches give a chance to keep growing as a team and carry over this confidence into the match against 2016 PDL runner-up Calgary, a side Lane United was able to record two draws against last month on the road.
“I think if we take care of the ball and keep the confidence going in, we can get at them a little bit,” Galas said. “It’s an important game for us. We’ve set a target of winning our last three games and putting pressure on other teams in the playoff hunt.”
Galas talked about how well the Reds executed game plans in the 0-0 and 1-1 draws against Foothills on the road and expects to see more of that from his guys next week.
Calgary will enter Thursday riding a seven match unbeaten streak after defeating Seattle Sounders U23 twice last week.
“It’ll be a chess match and will take a goal or two either way,” Galas said. “It will be really great for these players. They need to play in those type of environments. It’s going to be a good match. I’m excited for it.”
UP NEXT: Lane United hosts Calgary Foothills FC Thursday, July 6 at 7:30pm. Click here to get tickets and support your Reds!