It was a sunny and gorgeous 75-degree evening in Eugene for Lane United FC’s first-ever match at Civic Park. The Reds took on International Portland Select FC in a preseason friendly, where a couple hundred spectators safely enjoyed a night of soccer.
Early goals from both sides evened the match at one goal apiece before José Carlos González broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. The Reds took a 3-1 lead into the final minutes before earning a red card and conceding an unlikely pair of late goals. The match ended as a 3-3 draw in what became a stunning night of soccer in South Eugene.
Despite the pressure, LUFC recovered well and took control back, neutralizing the IPSFC attack and grabbing the lead in the 39th minute. Forward José Carlos González pounced on the end of a through ball and slotted it past the goalkeeper to give the Reds a well-earned 2-1 lead, which they would take into halftime.
Both teams battled fiercely in the first half, and a couple of fouls could have warranted yellow cards at the referee’s discretion. He neglected to book anyone too early, though.
Unfortunately, Takamura would have to leave the match at halftime because of a severe allergic reaction. He had been a menace to IPSFC’s defence the entire first half down the left flank.
Lane United opened up the second half on the front foot and nearly found their third goal in the 50th minute when Jordan Jackmon’s shot from close range forced a fantastic save by Pereira, but the pressure was still on from the Reds.
Lane United continued pushing and the third goal came in the 69th minute. As he had all night, winger Habib Binate slipped past his defender and tucked the ball under the goalkeeper to give LUFC an important insurance goal.
But IPSFC weren’t finished quite yet. Minutes after Jesus Velazco entered the match for the Reds, he received a red card during an altercation in the northwest corner of the pitch. Up 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining, LUFC found themselves down to 10 men.
The difference in numbers was glaring. Not two minutes after the red, Lane United center back Scott Gustafson shouldered an IPSFC attacker out of position at the edge of the six-yard box. The referee declined to interfere and shouts from the IPSFC bench were followed by jeers from the Red Aces.
Lane United Goalkeeper Kieran Brown would make multiple important saves in this match, including a tip over the bar in the 79’ to preserve the two-goal lead. Seconds later, though, disaster struck.
In the 80’, IPSFC winger Devan Chevalier belted home a second goal from outside the box for the boys in blue, and the shootout was on.