Lane United FC’s men’s team showcased their fiery form in their season finale on Sunday afternoon, concluding their 2023 campaign with a dominant 4-0 victory over Capital FC Atletico in Salem.
During the opening minutes of the first half, the Reds dominated possession. In the 7th minute, a series of passes created an opening for forward Tommy Case to cut into the box and take a shot that narrowly missed the left post.
The first half would turn out to be a back-and-forth affaire, and another scoring opportunity arose in the 11th minute when midfielder Ethan Doud dispossessed defender Francisco Anton and delivered a low cross from the right flank to Benjamin Foulks, whose strike deflected off the top of the crossbar.
In the 14th minute, Capital FC came close to taking the lead after a Reds turnover in the midfield as forward Yuki Onishi fired a shot that hit the inside of the post before being cleared from danger by the Reds.
With the game progressing to the 17th minute, forward Wade Muttitt received a perfectly played through ball only to be challenged by Francisco Anton, who then slipped. Muttitt capitalized on the opportunity, finding the back of the net, but the goal was controversially called back due to a foul call.
In the 25th minute, Capital FC’s Diego Castillo and Fumiya Shiraishi created a string of passes. Castillo delivered a through ball on the left, but Shiraishi’s shot sailed over the crossbar.
It was the Reds who threatened again in the 28th minute. Tommy Case played through Muttitt down the right flank, and the Englishman dribbled toward the end line before sending in a cross to defender Harper Neubeck. Neubeck’s shot appeared to cross the line before being tipped around the post by Capital FC goalkeeper Jules Dechert, keeping the score at 0-0.
Both teams seemed to share an equal share of possession in the closing minutes but it was the Reds that finally found the breakthrough in the 41st minute. Wade Muttitt played a through ball from the left side of the field to Benjamin Foulks, who slipped past Capital FC defender Bryan Gutierrez and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net, making it 1-0.
Adding to their lead right before the break, Tommy Case received a pass on the right side of the field in the 45th minute and found Foulks in the center of the box, and the forward again guided the ball into the left side of the net for his second goal.
The Reds had dominated the first half, outshooting their opponents 12-4. Goalkeeper Willem Ficek had a comfortable half with no saves to make, showcasing the Reds control of the match.
As the second half began, Ficek finally got involved in the 48th minute, comfortably catching a cross from Fumiya Shiraishi. Ficek would end up making four saves in the second half to earn his first career clean sheet. Just a minute later, Benjamin Foulks aimed for a hat trick with a shot on goal, but goalkeeper Jules Dechert parried away for a corner.
The Reds had a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the 59th minute when defender Scott Gustafson provided a low cross to Case, but the forward’s shot blazed inches over the bar.
Shortly thereafter, in the 61st minute, Muttitt drew a foul about 30 yards from goal. Midfielder Hugo Rodriguez calmly struck the ensuing free kick into the right side of the net, growing Lane United FC’s lead to 3-0.
Just nine minutes later, in the 70th minute, Hugo Rodriguez played a precise through ball to substitute Banyan Lyon, who outpaced the Capital FC defenders and confidently finished the chance, only to have the linesman disallow the goal for a questionable offside call.
In the closing moments, a long team possession culminated with a beautiful combination between substitutes Hayden Galas and Owen Nelson that saw the latter send in a well-timed pass for Hugo Rodriguez, who scored his second goal of the match. The goal coincided with the referee’s final whistle, ending the game.
The win concluded the season for Lane United as they secured a 4-0 victory on the road. The Reds finished with a record of 3-5-4 while tallying a total of 21 goals. Most of the LUFC players will now return to their individual soccer journeys, many representing their colleges and universities around the country while others go on trial for professional opportunities. Regardless of their next steps, they’ll always be a part of the Lane United FC family.
LUFC looks forward to seeing all of its wonderful fans in 2024 for the club’s 11th season!