Reno 1868 FC hosted Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday, August 15, 2020. This was their second match of the 2020 season. Kickoff was at 7:30 pm. Reno won the first match in Portland back on July 29. The scoreline in that match was 4-1 Reno. Reno 1868 FC was coming off of a loss to Sacramento Republic FC. Portland Timbers 2 was also coming off of a loss to Sacramento Republic FC heading into this match. Up to this point, Portland had neither won nor drawn a match this season.
I wasn’t expecting much from Portland. The way Reno had played last time and the way Reno played leading up to this match, I didn’t think Portland had a chance. I thought Reno was just going to dominate this game. Reno needed to find more ways to score after their last match. What they were doing in their last match wasn’t working. They just couldn’t find the back of the net. Reno needed to control possession. The team that can control possession can control the game. They can control the pace and don’t have to chase the ball allowing for them to be able to establish their game espalier. Reno also needed to stay patient. I was just thinking they should wait for the right opportunities. Portland was bound to make mistakes at some point. Reno just needed to not rush and end up making their own mistakes.
I didn’t think Portland had a chance. They just weren’t doing what it takes to win games at this level. There were not a lot of positives for them coming into this match. They hadn’t found a lot of ways to score. They haven’t been able to keep anyone out of their net. Portland honestly needed to try anything. Nothing has been working for them. My prediction for the game was 5-0 Reno. The loss to Sacramento was still pretty fresh. I wanted Reno to just have a game where they destroyed Portland.
What Happened In The First Half
In the 10’ minute Benjamin Kikanovic was subbed out for Foster Langsdorf. This was due to an injury. The ball was being passed into the Portland box to Kikanovic. His legs were taken out from underneath him. No foul was called on the play. I hope it’s not a bad injury. I hope he will return soon.
25’ minute Reno opens the scoring. Corey Hertzog scored with the assist coming from Sam Gleadle. Gleadle took the ball down the side of the box. Hertzog had seen an opening and went for it. The ball was passed to Hertzog. He stretched to get to it and make a shot. His one-touch found the back of the net. It was a soft shot. The keeper should have had the save but I’m glad it went in.
28’ minute Reno nocks in another one. This time the goal was scored by Sergio Rivas and assisted by Christiano Francois. Francois took the ball down the wing. He took the ball into the box, close to the 6-yard box near the goal line. He crossed the ball back to the center of the box just above the 6-yard box. Rivas Was there to head it into the net. Everyone for Portland was watching Francois. That allowed Rivas to find some space unchallenged. He was able to get the header off with no one challenging him.
38’ minute Reno scores again. The goal was scored by Tucker Bone and assisted by Brent Richards. Richards fed Bone the ball on the wing. Bone outran his defender to get the ball. He then turned and went towards the box giving him the step on the defender. His defender caught up and he made a move to lose him. Five Portland players were trying to put pressure on him. After he lost his defender Bone saw he had space and took a shot. The shot deflected off of Futty Danso, going the opposite way the keeper was going finding the back of the net.
45+1’ minute Reno scored another goal. Corey Hertzog scored his second of the night. The assist came from Christiano Francois. This goal came off of a set-piece to the side of the Portland box near the sideline. Francois crosses the ball into the box. It was almost a perfect cross to Hertzog. Hertzog was able to get around his defender and head the ball. He headed the ball right into the back of the net. Reno has shown to be deadly in this position before. Reno proves it here once more.
What Happened In The Second Half
64’ minute Reno scored their fifth unanswered goal. The goal was scored by Foster Langsdorf and assisted by Brent Richards. Christiano Francois took the ball inside the box from the wing. His attempted cross went over everyone. Richards saved it from going out. He crossed it to Langsdorf. He headed the ball into the net. Futty Danso of Portland ended up taking out his keeper to save the ball as the ball was going in the net. It was a good effort by Richards to keep the ball in play. Langsdorf didn’t have to do much as Portland took themselves out.
69’ minute Sergio Rivas of Reno received a yellow card.
72’ minute Portland finally scored. Jorge Gonzalez Asensi would get the goal. The assist came from Caleb Kiner. Kiner was on the side of the box. He put the ball around Christiano Francois. Francois wasn’t letting him go around to get to the ball. Francois was grabbed on the shoulder and pulled down. Kiner had two Reno players pursuing him. He got the pass off to Gonzalez Asensi. He got the touch to put it in the net. If Kiner didn’t pull Francois down he wouldn’t have gotten around. It was a clear foul. The no-call resulted in a goal. I don’t know why the foul wasn’t called. It’s clear and even up close in the replay. It sucks but cheating is the only way Portland could have scored on that play.
73’ minute Calbe Kiner of Portland received a yellow card.
74’ minute Max Ornstil of Portland received a yellow card.
76’ minute Portland would score the game’s last goal ending their attempt at a comeback. The goal was scored by Marcus Epps and assisted by Gerardo Duran. Duran fed the ball to Epps about 7 yards outside of the box. His defender fell attempting to stop the pass. He was free with plenty of space and no pressure inside the box. Epps was pursued by two Reno defenders but was able to keep the ball and get a clean shot off. His shot just beat Ben Beaury giving Portland the game’s last goal.
90+1’ minute Caleb Kiner of Portland received a second yellow card resulting in a red card and his ejection from the match. His red card is kind of justice for his foul on Christiano Francois in the 72’ minute that was a no-call resulting in a goal for Portland.
I think the ref called the game fairly for the most part. I think his one major mistake was the no-call in the 72’ minute. I honestly don’t understand how that wasn’t a call. Kiner getting a second yellow feels like the ref made up for the no-call. However, I don’t think refs should be making calls to make up for their mistakes earlier in the game. I think they should just get the call right in the first place. If they get it wrong just move on. I give the ref a 4/10. It would be a 5/10 but that no call did result in a goal. It might be a 7/10 if he would have made that call.
After Match Thoughts
Reno did well to not lose focus during this match. They kept their eye on the win and followed through until the end. Reno showed that they have multiple scoring threats. In years past the team has had to rely mostly on one player to do the majority of the scoring. In this match, they have shown that they have depth in the scoring category. They had three-goal scorers and four different players with assists on five goals. This game also showed how good Reno is at finding and creating space.
There was some debate after the match about the two Portland goals. It was brought up that if Eric De La Cerda was in the net that Portland wouldn’t have scored. I agree with that. De La Cerda is a more aggressive keeper. I think on the first Portland goal he might have stopped the pass. I think on the second goal he would have challenged for the ball instead of staying in the net. I think the second one might have still gone in but I think De La Cerda would have done a better job at challenging the player with the ball.
Reno did find more ways to score. They looked a lot better at finding those open spaces and winning the ball. Reno did have 60% of the possession. It felt like a lot more during the game. They were able to control the pace of the game allowing them to establish their game early on. Reno didn’t look like they were rushing anything. They looked confident waiting for the right opportunities to come. Portland did make mistakes. Reno did capitalize on those mistakes. Reno didn’t end up making too many mistakes of their own.
Portland did find a couple of ways to score. It wasn’t enough. Their effort was just too little to impact the game. They couldn’t keep Reno out of the net. Almost nothing went right for them in this one.
My prediction was right until Portland scored. I am glad reno was able to net five goals. They put the game out of Portland’s reach before Portland could even respond. Maybe next time I’ll predict the right score.
Current Group A Standings
August, 17, 2020
Reno 1868 FC (15pts)
Sacramento Republic FC (15pts)
Tacoma Defiance (7pts)
Portland Timbers 2 (0pts)
Reno 1868 FC heads to San Diego to take on San Diego Loyal. That game is currently scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020. The game will be at Torero Stadium. Kickoff is currently set for 7 pm.