An historically hot night in Albany produced a heated first half as Lane United tied Oregon Valley Futbol Alliance 2-2. It was Lane United’s first draw of the 2021 USL2 season.
Edo Merci got Lane United FC on the board while Ed Port tallied the second, and Oscar Rojas assisted twice for OVF Alliance. All four goals came in the first half.
Kickoff for this match was moved from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., but the temperature was still over 100˚F at its start.
Edo Merci leveled the match in the 27th minute via a through ball from Scott Gustafson, sliding the ball under the onrushing keeper for his first goal of the season.
“[Scott] gave me a great ball into space and I was just thinking of finishing,” said Merci. “I’m happy to score my first goal...finally. I should have scored earlier [this season] but I'll take this one.”
The Reds would take the lead just a few minutes later. Ed Port cut inside from the right, took a few touches, and smashed a left-footed shot inside the far post. In just three minutes, Merci and Port had helped flip a deficit into a lead.
“I’ve been practicing that a lot actually, with both feet, just been waiting for the chance to do it,” Port beamed. “With how we played today it gave me more opportunity and I’m just glad I could do it and score.”
But the first half scoring was still unfinished. In the 35th minute, Rosas broke down the right side and layered a shot across the face of the goal. Brown was able to parry the ball away but it was cleaned up by Evan Hoover at the back post to knot the score at 2-2.
As the match wore on, the heat slowed everyone down. A pair of hydration breaks and multiple stoppages for injuries couldn’t temper the stifling hot temperatures.
Both sides had opportunities to take the lead, but the heat overcame everyone. Center backs Jordan Jackmon and Pedro Hernandez worked especially hard to maintain the scoreline on the defensive end.
“Pedro coming in—obviously he’s not played a full game—I think he did well, [as did] Jordan,” said head coach Jason Carney. “The guys worked hard…it was a great game.”
Lane United will take on Timbers U23 at home in Civic Park on Friday, July 2nd, 2021 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available here. We’ll see you there!