Lane United were dealt an unlucky loss on Sunday afternoon as they fell 2-1 to Oregon Valley Futbol Alliance at South Albany High School in their first road match of the season.
Henry Cromack scored his third goal of the season for Lane United in the first half before OVF Alliance’s center backs scrapped a pair of corner kicks across the line.
Lane United may have entered Sunday afternoon downtrodden both physically and mentally after a brutal 5-4 loss to PDX FC in their USL League Two season opener last Friday, but they didn’t show it. Eugene’s Reds fought hard and produced the majority of the chances, but it was OVF who ultimately came out on top.
Lane United controlled the match in the early minutes, nearly scoring within ten minutes.
Midfielder Andron Kagramanyan curled a shot just over the bar in the eighth minute off of a short corner kick, while left back Calvin Berteau barely missed the post in the 15th with a left-footed shot from a tight angle.
In the 26th minute, the Reds finally found their breakthrough. Winger Jesus Velazco began the attacking move with some great dribbling up the middle before playing striker José Carlos González through on the left. His shot was saved by the goalkeeper, but Cromack followed it up with a headed finish to give the visitors a first-half lead.
It was Cromack's third goal of the season for the Reds, and would have been a second for Gonzalez.
OVF were not without their positive moments either, but the best first-half chances they could muster were a pair of hopeful headers, neither of which were near the target. That is—until the very last minute of first-half stoppage time, when a corner kick was lifted into a mess of players in the Lane United penalty area. It was OVF’s center back, Max Berner-Hays, who ultimately poked it past Albert Escuin for the goal.
Despite controlling most of the match, Lane United found themselves deadlocked 1-1 at the half.
The Reds were still on the front foot to begin the second period, but were unable to get any shots off at the OVF goal.
The match’s momentum shifted 10 minutes into the second half. An OVF corner was cleared and Gonzalez played a ball over the top for midfielder Harper Neubeck to chase. Neubeck and OVF goalkeeper Massimo Oedekoven Pomponi met in a nasty collision going for the 50/50 ball at the top of the box. Neubeck got the worst of it, but Oedekoven Pomponi only received a yellow card, much to the bewilderment of those in attendance who'd expected red.
After a few minutes on the ground, Neubeck would leave the match (and the facility), being replaced by Grady Thurman. The free kick was eventually struck well by Cromack, but the goalkeeper did well to get down and push his shot wide.
Disaster struck less than ten minutes later. OVF’s other center back, Nikkye DePoint, got the final touch on a pin-balling corner kick, although he barely knew about it. The ball ricocheted off his ankles and past Escuin for a 2-1 home lead in the 62nd minute
Chasing a goal, the Eugene boys pressed on. Shots outside the box from Gonzales and substitute Habib Binate both sailed over the bar, and OVF defended diligently to prevent any glaring chances for the visitors. Still, the Reds couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.
Centerback Matt King had multiple key tackles to keep Lane United in the game late, twice preventing likely goals in 1-versus-1 situations.
In the end, 2-1 was a disappointing final scoreline, but the plethora of injuries and fitness sees the Reds patiently waiting for another shot.