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1868 Life (A Game Review Blog) RNOVFRS

So, Fresno came to town on Saturday. Some of their fans decided to travel for the match. That’s a nice change of pace considering most teams don’t bring their fans. Having away fans always adds emotions to a game. I wish more fan groups traveled to support their teams. I think it could bring the league together.

Pregame thoughts

After losing three straight the general feeling was that we just want our team to play competitively. Every game up to that point Reno and Fresno had drawn at 1-1. I knew Reno would have to step up to win this one. Reno has been playing their worst ever, and this match quickly was becoming the toughest matchup of the season.

What happened in the first half?

Reno came out and was playing the best I’ve seen from them since they started this losing streak. That being said they didn’t stop Fresno from scoring early. Fresno’s Jaime Chavez would open up the scoring in the 23’ minute. Fresno a free kick about 15 yards outside of the box. The kick was to the right of the keeper. Caffa took the free-kick and put it right on net. Matt Bersano would stop the initial shot. He wasn’t able to control the ball leading to the rebound that Chavez put into the back of the net.

I am disappointed with the defensive effort on this play. Only two guys (Richards and Carroll) went back to help out the keeper after the shot. Most of our guys were just standing there watching the ball. Sure, most of the Fresno players were doing the same thing but when the defense does it they are leaving the keeper out to dry. I just really didn’t like the effort on the play.

In the 29’ minute Elijah Martin would receive a yellow card.

In the 35’ minute, Fresno would get their second of the night. That goal would be scored by Juan Pablo Caffa. He would score on a penalty kick.

The foul was called on Janjigian inside the box. Janjigian went in for a slide tackle. I’ve seen the replay about 15 times now. It doesn’t look like Janjigian touched Chavez. It looks like Janjigian missed the tackle and then Chavez decided to fall on top of him. I don’t think that this was a foul. I can see why it would be called a foul in real-time though. It doesn’t think that this is Reno’s fault. I don’t think there was anything they could have done in this situation that would result in a better outcome.

Alex Cooper would get a yellow card for Fresno in the 45’ minute. A lot of the fans do think that it should have been a red card because he punched our player. On the USL website, it says that he received the yellow card for “argument”.

What happened in the second half?

Reno started the second half by pulling Brent Richards to put in Daniel Musovski. I think this is a solid sub. I think that Musovsi is the more talented of the two but they are very close.

Fresno would get another chance in the 57’ minute. The ball would be cleared out of Reno’s box by Gleadle. Caffa would put it back on net. It would hit the post before eventually being cleared.

In the 58’ minute, Fresno would hit the crossbar. Daly would get the ball. Despite being heavily challenged by the defense he got a shot off. The shot came from dead center about 5 yards outside of the box. Reno would do a good job of controlling the rebound and getting the ball out of the box.

Fresno would get another yellow card in the 60’ minute. The card was given to Ellis Hayden for a foul.

Reno would take Seth Casiple out of the game in the 66’ minute. He would be replaced by Sergio Rivas. I understand this move. At that point, we were down 2-0 and we needed to mix things up a little. It also gave to rest Casiple for Tuesday as at that point it didn’t look like we were going to mount a comeback.

Duke Lacroix would receive a yellow card in the 68’ minute.

Fresno would make their first sub of the night in the 70’ minute. Diego Casillas would come in for Jackson.

Corey Hertzog would be subbed out in the 73’ minute. Luis Paradela would take his place. I think Hertzog came out because he was visibly upset at the officiating. He had argued with the ref a couple of times at that point. I saw him yelling at the ref from on the bench later in the game. I think that was a good sub. Again, It looked like we were going to lose the game. Why risk one of your top players getting an unnecessary yellow or red card because they are upset. It also gave Paradela his first playing time for Reno. Which was something I was looking forward to ever since they signed him.

Fresno would take their last two subs in the 78’ (Qudus Lawal came in for Jaime Chavez) and 81’ minute (Emir Alihozic came in for Juan Pablo Caffa).

Fresno would get a chance towards the end of the 81’ minute. It was a good cross and a solid header that would ultimately be saved by Matt Bersano. This would ultimately be the save that kept Reno in the game.

Reno would finally score in the 89’ minute. Duke Lacroix would put it in the box and Daniel Musovski would head it into the net.

The Fresno player who was standing between the ball and Musovski should have challenged for the ball. He didn’t even jump for the ball. Instead, the player behind Musovski jumped up and tried to get the ball that way. Ultimately it was low effort defense from Fresno on the play. Cochran didn’t dive or challenge for the ball either.

Reno would score again to tie the game in the 90+2’ minute. This goal would again come from the same pairing of Duke Lacroix and Daniel Musovski. Lacroix was in the box when he crossed the ball this time. Musovski would beat out his defender to win the ball and head it into the back of the net.

Fresno’s defense was bunched up to the left of the goalkeeper. That gave Lacroix plenty of space to get and cross the ball after it was put in front of him. Most of Fresno’s players were to the left of the keeper when the cross went up. Again, the keeper didn’t challenge or dive for the ball. It wouldn’t have mattered much anyway as Paradela would have been right there to put away any rebound.

Alihodzic would score the game-winning goal for Fresno on a penalty kick in the 90+4’ minute. Carroll and Seymore got yellow cards during the play. Alihodzic got a yellow card following the play.

Watching the replay for this one is still frustrating because I didn’t see any foul on Reno. The first foul I see was that Carroll had his arm held by Qudus Lawal (the attacking Fresno player). Lawal and Janjigian collided. Lawal landed on Janjigian wrong and Janjigian was on the floor grabbing his ankles for a while. Four different Reno players got in the ref’s face following the play.

Referee thoughts

The ref was garbage. This might have been the worst refed game I have seen all season. The linesmen did fine. They called it pretty evenly. It comes down to this, why wasn’t it a red card when Alex Cooper hit our player? How was the Penalty kick at the end of the game a foul on us? Multiple plays like that happened throughout the game with no calls. Our guys also went down at least three times in the box (during the course of the game) with no fouls given. Like a lot of the USL Championship games from an officiating standpoint, the game was garbage.

After Match thoughts

Being honest, we played good for the first 20 minutes and the last 10 minutes. Overall, we played a lot better than we did in our last three games despite the result. What makes this result suck so much despite a lot of positives coming out of the game is how quickly we went from a tied game to losing again. When Fresno scored their second goal on a penalty kick it was defiantly the moment when I thought that we wouldn’t be able to win the game. It’s what I am going to call the defeating moment. What that means is that we lost the game at that moment despite the game not being over yet. When we scored our first goal I was thinking that it was too late. The game had already been decided. I thought it didn’t mean much. Then we scored our second goal. That changed everything. The energy from that second goal was like we just won a championship. Tying the game would have been just as good as winning the game for us. We didn’t end in a tie.
It was probably the toughest loss for me emotional this season. It was as tough a loss as losing to Oklahoma City in the playoffs back in 2017. This marks Reno’s fourth straight loss. There isn’t a lot to look forward too down the stretch. Especially since Phoenix is paying for their championship. The rest of the season could be very bumpy and emotion. We are in third solid now but if we continue to lose we might not even make the playoffs.
All of this makes Tuesday’s game that much more important to win. I know we can do it. Will we do it? It’s up to the 11 guys on the pitch. At this point, we should be desperate to win. I honestly think we should start the 11 guys who played when the game ended on Saturday. I think the way they played (especially Musovski) they deserve to start.

Current standings

9/9/19

West

  1. Phoenix Rising FC
  2. Fresno FC
  3. Reno 1868 FC
  4. Austin Bold FC
  5. Orange County SC

East

  1. New York Red Bulls 2
  2. Tampa Bay Rowdies
  3. Nashville SC
  4. Indy Eleven
  5. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Next Match

Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Reno 1868 FC takes on Tacoma Defiance (formally Sounders 2). This will be Reno’s third straight home game and the third game in two weeks. Kickoff is set for 6:45. This will be game 2 of 2 against Tacoma. The first game ended in a 1-1 draw.

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