Men’s Soccer: Highlanders fall 2-1 in controversial match with Unity FC

On a rainy afternoon, it was Unity FC topping the Victoria Highlanders 2-1 in League 1 BC action on Sunday, June 19th, 2022.

Right from the get go, you had a sense that this match was going to be an entertaining one, and it delivered. The Highlanders would be the first to get the fans off their seats when forward Isaac Koch had an attempt on goal which was miraculously stopped by the Unity goalkeeper. Not long after, the Highlanders would threaten the Unity goal again but this time Unity centre-back, Eli Gindo, rose to the occasion making a crucial interception. This became a bit of a theme for much of the first half, as the Highlanders continued to threaten the Unity goal, and Unity Captain Eli Gindo continued to snuff out the attacks. Unity would create a great chance themselves, but Highlander’s keeper Trevor Schneider made a wonderful save to keep the game level.

It would take a moment of brilliance in the 36th minute for the Highlanders to finally get the better of the Unity defence. A well worked cornerkick found the ball at the feet of Highlanders midfielder, Kensho Ando, who played a wonderful cross to the head of teammate Michael Henman. Henman would get a solid head on the ball, forcing a save from the Unity Keeper, but was able to finish the ball on the rebound. 

The goal sparked something in Unity, and the home team began to push back. That spark would lead to an equalizing goal in the 43rd minute and see the teams go in at the half time tied at one’s.

Both teams came out swinging early in the second half, with the Highlanders being the slightly better side in terms of possession, but all that would soon change.

In the 62nd minute Unity FC played a ball over the top of the Highlanders defence, forcing Schneider to come out and challenge for the ball. The Highlanders keeper missed the ball and appeared to also miss the Unity forward in his attempt to clear the ball, however, the referee would see things differently. To the disbelief of the Highlanders team, the referee blew his whistle and would proceed to give Schneider a red card.

Down to ten men and forced to make a change, Highlanders second goalkeeper, Daniel Zadravec, was subbed into the game to protect the Highlander’s goal. Zadravec would answer the call early, climbing to the top corner and denying Unity the go ahead goal off of a wonderfully struck freekick.

Now down to ten men, the Highlanders were battling to not concede while still looking to try and convert on the other end of the park. But things would get worse for the visiting team. In the 92nd minute Unity FC would be awarded a penalty that looked to be a clean challenge from the Highlanders defender, but again the referee saw it differently. Unity would convert from the spot and take the lead.

Despite their best efforts in the dying moments of the game, Highlanders were unable to find an equalizer and the home team would earn all 3 points from the match.

Next Match Details:

Victoria Highlanders FC vs. TSS Rovers

Date: Sunday, June. 26th

Time: 3:15pm

Location: Centennial Stadium