On Saturday, September 5, 2020, Reno 1868 FC took on Portland Timbers 2. This was Reno’s tenth game of the season. Reno was 8-1-1 all-time against Portland. This was the third time Reno has played Portland in 2020. Reno had beaten Portland 4-1 in Portland and 5-2 in Reno. Reno was on a three-game winning streak heading into this match. Reno had beaten Phoenix Rising FC 2-1 In their previous game. Portland lost 2-1 to Sacramento Republic FC the Wednesday leading up to the match. Heading into this match Portland zero points. Portland hadn’t managed to win or draw a game.
Reno just needed to continue doing what they were doing. Play with good energy. Create scoring chances. Capitalize on scoring chances. Continue the strong goalkeeping. Not lose focus was a big factor in this match. It’s easy in games like this to lose focus and not play as well as expected. No win is guaranteed. It’s always a “should win” not a “will win”. Going into a match thinking they already won before the match starts is a dangerous mentality. I wasn’t saying that they shouldn’t be confident in their ability to win. I was saying don’t write the match off before it started. Score early and often is something I put as a key for Reno. “We want 10” has kind of become a motto for Reno verse Portland. I was thinking that if Reno could go up early then that would take a lot of the pressure to win off of the players. There wasn’t much that could be said for Portland.
They didn’t have much going for them. They have trouble scoring goals. In a third of their games, they didn’t score a goal. They have trouble keeping the ball out of their net. Up to this match, they let in 30 goals in 9 matches. 9 of those goals came from Reno. Portland needed a lot more than a miracle to win the match. They have struggled to be competitive this season. Nothing has been going right for them. Nothing has been working for them.
I predicted a 10-0 Reno win. I just wanted Reno to obliterate Portland. After seeing Reno dominate Portland in the last two games, I didn’t think that it was a stretch that Reno could score 10 goals on Portland in a single game.
What Happened In The First Half
2’ minute Reno scores. Tucker Bone scored with the assist coming from Foster Langsdorf. It was a right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. The ball was put into the box. Langsdorf headed the ball while diving. Bone settled the ball down. He took a shot with two Portland defenders guarding him. The shot beat the keeper.
11’ minute Tucker Bone scored again. This time the assist came from Sam Gleadle. It was a right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Bone took the ball into the box. He took a shot while under pressure. The shot took a deflection off of his defender. The ball hopped over the keeper and into the net.
20’ minute Reno made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal from Corey (Scorey) Hertzog. Hertzog converted a penalty kick. Foster Langsdorf won a penalty kick for Reno in the 19’ minute. Langsdorf had the ball and was heading towards the net when Max Ornstil of Portland cut Langsdorf off. It looks like Ornstil clipped Langsdorf with his shoulder. Ornstil did not attempt to get the ball. He was trying to cut off Langsdorf and let the keeper pick up the ball. Hertzog scored on the penalty kick. After the penalty kick, he showed some good sportsmanship. He didn’t celebrate. He grabbed the ball. He fist-bumped the keeper and took the ball back to center. Hertzog knew what everyone else knew, that at that moment the game was over. It’s a strong show of professionalism and his character.
35’ minute Foster Langsdorf scored to make it 4-0 Reno. The assist game from Jared Timmer. Timmer launched the ball from the center field line. Langsdorf outran two Portland defenders to win the ball inside of the box. The pass didn’t look like it was intended for Langsdorf. He broke one Portland defenders challenge in the box. He was able to take a shot while under pressure. It didn’t look the keeper was even trying. It was a soft shot. The keeper put himself in a position to block a ground shot. He then kind of raised his arm while the ball went past him.
What Happened In The Second Half
49’ minute Christiano Francois made it 5-0 with an assist from Corey Hertzog. It was an odd play. It started as a set-piece inside of the box. That’s not something that’s seen every day. Hertzog casually tapped the ball to Francois. Francois took the shot. One of the Portland defenders came out to challenge the shot. The shot was incredible. It was extremely powerful and accurate. The shot beat the keeper.
55’ minute Jose Carlos Anguiano of Portland was awarded a red card for violent conduct.
65’ minute Brent Richards scored making it 6-0 Reno. The assist came from Kevin Partida. Partida passed the ball to Richards who was above the top of the box. Richards wasn’t under any pressure. He took the shot and it went in in the far top corner. It was a strong shot from distance. I would like to see him score more distance goals like that.
74’ minute Portland finally scored. The goal was scored by Dyson Clapier and assisted by Salvador Villegas Jr. It was a right footed shot from the center of the box. The shot went bottom left corner. After their sixth goal, Reno took their foot off the gas. They had won the match and were not pushing to score. Portland took advantage of that.
77’ minute Reno answered. Reno’s seventh and last goal of the night came from Benjamin Kikanovic. It was assisted by Sam Gleadle. Reno wasn’t going to let Portland score without an answer. Gleadle put the ball into the box from the wing. With two Portland defenders challenging for the ball Kikanovic was able to head the ball into the back of the net.
90+4’ minute the game ends in a 7-1 Reno win. Extra time in this match was pointless. Reno put the game out of Portland’s reach in the 20’ minute. They should have just ended the game after 90’ minutes.
It didn’t seem like the ref lost control of the game. I think awarding the early Penalty kick helped the ref maintain control. I think showing the red card in the second half allowed the ref to keep control of the game when Portland was starting to play more aggressively then they should have. There was no reason for either team to play overly aggressive in this match. Reno put the game away in the 20’ minute. The professional thing to do is to accept defeat if your Portland and finish the game. There is no real reason to be overly aggressive. The professional thing to do for Reno is to know that Reno has already won the match. Playing overly aggressive can only hurt Reno. Yellow card accumulation could hurt Reno down the road if they play overly aggressive. If Reno got a red card that will hurt the team more immediately. The biggest thing is that there is no reason for it. Anyway, Portland receiving the red card was a show of force by the ref telling everyone on the field that he wasn’t putting up with it. I think it helped everyone calm down. I give the reefing a score of 7 out of 10. The ref maintained control over the match and it didn’t seem like he missed too many calls.
After Match Thoughts
Reno should have scored ten. They took their foot off the gas and it just didn’t happen. I don’t know if they felt sorry for Portland or what the reason was for taking their foot off the gas. I think Reno also could have gotten a clean sheet. After they took their foot off the gas they looked too comfortable. Portland took advantage of that. It was kind of like wake-up guys you still have twenty minutes to play. It’s the result we expected though. Reno dominated walking away with three more points. Reno did create and capitalize on scoring chances. Reno’s goalkeeping was solid. Their energy was good for the first twenty minutes. I think they need to work on that. They didn’t keep the same energy through the whole match as I think they should have. They will have to play with good energy through the whole match when playing teams like Sacramento. This was an opportunity for them to practice that in a match. They wasted that opportunity. Reno didn’t lose focus. They came out and did what was expected of them. They did score early and they did score often.
Moving forward Reno has a big test in Sacramento coming up. Reno is doing a lot of things right. What I think the Reno needs to work on going into this game is their confidence in the locker room and their energy. Positive energy going into this match will be key for a Reno victory.
Current Group A Standings
September, 7, 2020
Reno 1868 FC (24pts)
Sacramento Republic FC (18pts)
Tacoma Defiance (7pts)
Portland Timbers 2 (0pts)
This is how I see the Group A standings at the end of the season. Tacoma would have to make up roughly 15 points in 7 games. That’s 5 wins in 7 games. On top of that Sacramento would have to lose 5 of their last 6 games. Tacoma currently has 2 wins and a draw in 9 games. I don’t see them winning enough games in this final stretch to make the playoffs. Portland is mathematically out of the playoffs. With only 6 games left they would need to overcome a 21-point lead that Sacramento has. If Portland won all of their remaining matches it would only add up to a total of 18 points. Looking at Portland’s remaining schedule it’s easy to see Portland not win a single game this season. They haven’t shown that they are capable of being competitive in Group A. They have lost ten straight and there is no indication that they won’t lose the next six.
Reno 1868 FC heads to Sacramento on Saturday, September 12, to take on Sacramento Republic Fc. This is the third of four matches in the 2020 Donner Pass Derby. Sacramento Holds a 2-0 lead in the derby. The aggregate score is 2-0 Sacramento. The aggregate score only matters if Reno walks away with a win. Sacramento won the first two games 1-0. They won both games by scoring penalty kicks. If Sacramento gets a draw or better result on Saturday they will win their first Donner Pass Derby. Kickoff is currently set for 730pm.