Highlanders Drop Weekend Opener To Foothills FC
VICTORIA, BC - Victoria Highlanders FC (4-2-1) welcomed Calgary Foothills FC (5-2-2) to Centennial Stadium, June 21st in the first of two weekend matches. The visiting Foothills scored three goals in the first half courtesy Willy Akio, twice, and Tofa Fakunle on their way to a 4-1 win on the road.
The visiting team struck first as Willy Akio found himself behind the defenders before he fired it into the back of the net in the 2nd minute to give the Foothills a 1-0 lead. After some choppy play in the midfield, the Foothills mounted an offensive rush that resulted in a penalty awarded to Calgary after a hard challenge in the box by a Highlanders’ defender. Tofa Fakunle lined up at the spot and made no mistake as he potted his fifth goal of the season in the 34th minute to give Calgary the 2-0 lead. The visiting squad added another goal right before half. Akio scored his second goal of the game in the 45th minute off a pretty passing play in the box. After 45 minutes of play, the Foothills held a 3-0 lead.
Former Highlander Marcus Campanile added to the Calgary lead, scoring in the 49th minute of play. Connor Guilherme came close to breaking the shutout in the 63rd minute but his header was turned aside by Benjamin Jackson. The Highlanders broke through in the 73rd minute when Goteh Ntignee scored off an impressive rush for his third goal of the season, in only his second start of the season. Although Guilherme came close to adding a second goal, the Foothills were able to tighten up the defensive end and take the 4-1 win.
“We recognize that we were not switched on at the beginning of the game like we need to. Foothills is always a team that have a good structure and are organized, and they will always come with a good mentality and intensity right away,” stated Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “That was something we had to match, and we didn’t. Giving up an early goal and a bad penalty was not great mentally for the boys. We must be better in our own play and get back to that rhythm that we have. It was good to score a goal just to get some positivity into our game. But overall that wasn’t the way we are capable of playing. We need to be better, we need to do the simple things better and bring that quality of play that we have.”
The Highlanders are back in action on Sunday, June 23rd at Centennial Stadium for a rematch against Calgary Foothills FC. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. For tickets and more information, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.
VHFC: Goteh Ntignee 73’
CGY: Willy Akio 2’, Tofa Fakunle 34’, Willy Akio 45’ (Marcus Campanile), Marcus Campanile 49’ (Tofa Fakunle)
VHFC: Sean Young 37’, Elyad Shojaei 39’, Daniel Davidson 45’
CGY: Drake Rendle 56’, Marcus Campanile 82’
Victoria Highlanders FC
Norgrove (GK); Banton, Guilherme, Colley (Adib 55’), Shojaei, Young, Fletcher (Popadynetz 66’), Takano, Shumbusho (Ando 84’), Davidson (Cole 45’), Ntignee
Calgary Foothills FC
Jackson (GK); Pritchard, Bauld (Keen 12’), Hall, Tchemmoun, Hayfield, Campanile, Rendle (Harrison 87’), Akio(Orgnaro 85’), Fakunle (Bartolillo 79’), Pepple (Bent 66’)
REF: Aleksandar Stojcheski
AR1: Cameron Olive
AR2: David Schmidt-Schweda
4th Official: Catherine Gourde