Highlanders Take First Leg Of JDF Plate With 1-0 Win

BURNABY, BC - Victoria Highlanders FC (3-1-1) traveled to Swangard Stadium to take on Vancouver TSS FC Rovers (2-3-1) in the first leg of the Juan De Fuca Plate on Friday, June 7th. The Highlanders walked away with a 1-0 win with the only goal of the game coming off a Victory Shumbusho penalty shot.

Both teams traded chances in the first half with the Highlanders looking to take advantage of their games in hand in the Northwest Division. The Rovers got the first two chances with the first two shots of the game. First, Connor MacMillan released a dangerous shot from distance that was stopped by a diving Trevor Schneider. The second opportunity was created by David Malamura who cut across the box before firing a shot on goal that Schneider also turned aside. The visiting team took advantage of the long ball as Jake Ruby, Daniel Davidson, and Shumbusho were attacking the wings all night and putting pressure on the Rovers' backline. Davidson came close to a breakaway in the first half, but the tactical long ball from Joshua Banton was a touch too far ahead of the forward. Highlanders’ captain Joshua Walter had a free kick from outside the box that was initially bobbled by Luciano Trasolini, but the Rovers’ goalkeeper was able to cover the rebound. While each team had their fair share of scoring opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, the game remained scoreless at the half.

The second half started a bit more cautious than the first, with the Rovers seemingly figuring out their best plan of attack against the Highlanders' defense. The home team had a great chance in the 54th minute when Schneider was forced to make a point blank save before Connor Guilherme cleared the ball from a dangerous situation. It wouldn't be until the 66th minute that the Victoria side would convert on one of the numerous offensive opportunities between the teams in the match. Awarded a penalty kick off a Vancouver hand ball, Shumbusho walked to the line and made no mistake as he fired a shot past the Rovers' goalkeeper for his second goal of the season to give the Highlanders a 1-0 lead.

After 90 minutes of play, the Highlanders walked away with a 1-0 win in the first leg of the Juan De Fuca Plate. Trevor Schneider picked up the well-earned clean sheet in his first start of the season. The second leg of the JDF Plate will be played in Victoria on Friday, July 5th against TSS FC Rovers.

“It was a big bounce back win and an important three points to earn on the road,” stated Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “The Rovers are a good team with a talented roster that pushed us at times tonight, but we were able to work as a team and keep the game competitive throughout. We have some things we need to work on going forward to tighten up a little bit and we must make sure we are taking advantage of those opportunities we are given. Overall, three points on the road is always a good result and I’m happy with how the boys responded to a quality opponent on the road.”

Victoria Highlanders are back in action on Sunday, June 16th as they return to Centennial Stadium to welcome the Portland Timbers U23 for a Father's Day matchup. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. For more details head wo www.highlandersfc.ca. For tickets head to www.highlandersfc.ca/tickets

Scoring Summary
VHFC: Victory Shumbusho
VAN: None

VHFC: Jake Ruby 74’
VAN: Danylo Smychenko 72’

Victoria Highlanders FC
Schneider (GK); Banton, Guilherme, Ruby, Shojaei, Young, Joshua Walter , Fletcher (Ando 60’) Takano (Colley 88'), Davidson (Cole 65’), Shumbusho (Hill 78')

Vancouver TSS FC Rovers
Trasolini (GK); Pang (Papakyriaopoulos 67’), Gindo, Schmychenko, Sangha (Guerrero 57’), Baldisiomo, Haynes, Polisi, Malamura (Glennon 57’), Jhaj (Yle-Hietanen 45’), MacMillan


REF: Seyed Mohammad Mohseni
AR1: Francesco Scaglione
AR2: Michael Hood
4th Official: Joey Ratcliffe