SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The Lane United Football Club overpowered the Puget Sound Gunners 4-1 in Saturday's afternoon match at Springfield's Willamalane Center.
"We were very fluid, very composed on the ball, and played very well as a group," Head Coach John Galas said.
Lane United scored nearly immediately in their strong victory over the Gunners. The Reds' forward Khiry Shelton was the first to score in the game's 2nd minute off an assist from Martin Lukaschik.
"We sparked a flame early and just kept going for the whole match," Khiry Shelton said.
Forward Connor Bevans, off an assist from fellow forward Shelton, scored the second goal in the 27th minute, pushing the lead to 2-0.
Within minutes, the Reds' goal was followed by a deep strike from the Reds' midfielder Casey Philips in the 34th minute to make it 3-0.
The Reds' three goals in the first half of the game set the tone as the Reds used their momentum and energy to attack and counter offensive surges by the Gunners.
"We played ball control exceptionally well and we really played great as a team unit defensively, " Shelton said.
The Gunners played Lane United just one day after their last match against the Portland Timbers U-23s, in which they lost 2-0. Puget Sound was outpaced from the beginning of the match as the Reds maintained an efficient passing rhythm.
"Puget Sound was in a tough spot," Galas said. "I think that certainly gave us a slight advantage, but I do think our play overall was fantastic today."
One advantage Puget Sound gained in the 55th minute was body count after Lane United's Amer Sasivarevic was red carded. Despite playing with just ten men for the majority of the second half, the Reds gave up just one goal, preserving a 4-1 victory.
"I don't want to say I'm getting comfortable with playing with ten bodies," Galas said, jokingly. "We know in adverse situations that this team has character, heart and fight, and they can close games out for us."
Lane United now moves to 2-0-1 in the Premier Development League Northwest Division.
Their next game is Saturday, June 7, at 7 p.m. against the Kitsap Pumas at Gordon Field Park in Bremerton, Washington.
"The biggest thing is continuing to build on this and preparing for our first road game," Galas said.