Reds Earn Away Point in 2-2 Draw at TSS Rovers
By Keeler McJunkin
BURNABY, British Columbia — Lane United opened the 2017 PDL schedule with a hard fought 2-2 draw against TSS FC Rovers at Swangard Stadium Friday night, earning a point on the road in a spirited, back-and-forth match.
Jordan Jones scored the equalizer in the 69th minute, finishing from the box with his left foot after stepping past the Rovers keeper.
“We noticed that high line they were playing and Isma played a great ball over the top,” Jones said. “We were encouraging playing a ball over the top, he played a great one and I was lucky to get on the end of it and finish.”
Lane United had chances to net the game-winner in the final 20 minutes, the best coming when Akeem Ward looked for Isma Fernandez in front of the goal, but it was just out of reach with an open net in front.
It was a quality atmosphere at Swangard on a beautiful British Columbia spring night for the first-ever Rovers home match, but the Reds were able to spoil it and steal a point at the same time.
“It’s nice to get off to a good start and a result on the road is always a solid performance,” Jones said. “It was a good atmosphere, and they had a lot of fans. I like playing on the road, we have a tight-knit group of guys and I think we’re going to make something special out of this.”
TSS was able to possess the ball early before Lane United started to break the Rovers down and build the attack offensively, ultimately leading to the first goal of the game.
The Reds got on the board in the 29th minute when Akeem Ward’s cross from deep in the right corner found Vicente Mora on the left side of the the box and he finished with a quality right-foot volley beating the Rovers keeper.
After trading a few possessions the Rovers evened the score 1-1 in the 35th when Kristian Hietanen scored off a near post back-heel from inside the box that glanced off the shoulder of Lane United keeper Ben Willis and into the net.
The game got chippy early in the second half as John Stadler, who came on at halftime, got in the face of a Rovers player after getting cleated. The ensuing conversation with the referee led to a yellow card two minutes later when Matt Coffey collided with a Rover just past midfield.
A questionable foul on Alvaro Adan led to a Rovers converted penalty kick for a 2-1 lead, but the Reds were able to take control of possession and keep the ball on the TSS side of the field for the majority of the final 20. They just couldn’t convert that possession into the game-winner.
“We weren’t taking care of the ball the way we talked about taking care of it so I challenged them to work harder of the ball and support each other,” head coach John Galas said. “I thought our guys really got a hold of the game with about 20 left. Jordan worked hard for that goal. He’s a poacher, he can create something out of nothing. Overall I thought we closed the game out on a positive note.”
Lane United takes the field again on Sunday in Victoria against a Highlanders team that will be competitive and looking to earn a win at home.
“Victoria is hard to break down, we were 0-0 and 2-2 against them last year,” Galas said. “They’re really difficult, they know how to score goals and they defend well. We’re going to need to take care of the ball and finish in the final third.”