Reno 1868 FC headed to Sacramento to take on Sacramento Republic FC. This was the third out of four games these two teams would see each other this season. Reno had already lost twice to Sacramento this season. Both of those games were 1-0 losses with both of Sacramento’s goals coming on penalty kicks. Sacramento led the Donner Pass Derby coming into this game two games to zero. A draw or better would secure them a derby win. This was also a matchup of the top 2 teams in group a. The team that won the game would lead group a going into this week.
I knew Reno had what it took to win this game. Whether they were going to do it or not was another question. They had played their worst soccer against Sacramento. They have what it takes but were they going to do what it takes? I expected a low scoring game. Based on the previous two games, neither team was going to walk away with more than a one-goal win. I didn’t think Sacramento could score on Reno unless it was a situation like a penalty kick. In the previous games, they hadn’t done it so I thought they might not be able to.
Reno couldn’t revert to the way they played in the last two games. If they did then they would lose. They needed to keep up the energy and pace that they had been playing with. They needed to be patient and not force opportunities. That was part of the problem in the last game in this series. Reno tried to force opportunities too much last time which caused the team to miss the net or not have support. Another part of this was playing solid in the net. Reno had been playing solid leading into this match. If they wanted to win they needed to keep that up. Reno needed to capitalize on chances. Reno struggled to do that in the last game of the series. A big part of that was that they were not hitting the net. Lastly, Reno just needed to score first. Reno hadn’t lost a game going into this match when they score first.
Sacramento needed to keep Reno out of the net. That’s something they had done in the last two games of the series. I thought they would try to do it again. Sacramento couldn’t give Reno good opportunities. They couldn’t let Reno get unchallenged shots or passes. Giving Reno any space would be costly for Sacramento. Lastly, Sacramento was going to use the ref to their advantage. Up to this game in the series, the refereeing has been on Sacramento’s side. I expected Sacramento to again take advantage of that. Sacramento does like to play dirty by being overly aggressive and flopping.
I predicted a 2-1 Reno win. I thought this one would be close. I thought neither team would be able to get more than a one-goal advantage.
What Happened In The First Half
Reno scored early with a goal in the 2’ minute. The goal came from Foster Langsdorf. The assist came from Christiano Francois. Francois took a free-kick from what looks like 20 yards outside of the box. The kick came from the left of the box. about 10 yards from the sideline. Francois crossed the ball into a crowd of people in the box. Langsdorf was able to get over everyone to put the ball into the back of the net. The ball looks like it went off the back of his head.
5’ minute Sacramento tied it up. The goal was scored by Sam Werner. The assist came from Kharlton Belmar. It was a header from the center of the box to the bottom right corner. Belmar took the ball down the wing. He crossed it from outside of the box. Werner took an unchallenged header.
32’ minute Sacramento took the lead. The goal was scored by Dariusz Formella. The assist came from Kharlton Belmar. Belmar under pressure passed the ball to Formella. Formella took the ball into the box. He was able to get a shot off before Reno was able to put pressure on him. The shot ended up beating Ben Beaury. Beaury probably should have saved that shot. However, Reno shouldn’t have let Formella have that much space.
What Happened In The Second Half
65’ minute Kevin Partida of Reno 1868 FC drew a foul from Sacramento Republic FC’s Shannon Gomez in the penalty area.
67’ minute Reno brings the game back to level. Kevin Partida scores on the penalty kick. His shot beat the keeper despite the keeper diving to where the shot went in.
73’ minute Sacramento regained the lead. The goal was scored by Jaime Villarreal. The assist came from Cameron Iwasa. The ball was put in the box on a corner kick. The ball came to Iwasa. He passed it above the box to Villarreal. He took a shot that found its way to the back of the net through traffic. Based on his reaction I don’t think Ben Beaury saw the shot until it was too late or the ball deflected off a player in traffic. It’s difficult to tell on the replay.
79’ minute Tony Alfaro of Reno 1868 FC received a yellow card.
80’ minute Kharlton Belmar of Sacramento Republic FC received a yellow card.
84’ minute Kevin Partida of Reno 1868 FC received a yellow card.
90+3’ Reno would bring the game back to level. Aidan Apodaca scored the goal. It was unassisted. The ball was put in the box by Reno. Sacramento failed to clear the ball. Apodaca would beat three Sacramento defenders in the 6-yard box to get the ball. He then had pressure coming from five Sacramento defenders. Under pressure, he took the shot. The shot found the back of the net.
90+4’ Aidan Apodaca of Reno 1868 FC received a yellow card for excessive celebration.
90+5’ The match ends in a dramatic 3-3 draw.
The refereeing was as expected. Poor. Reno got more calls to go their way this time then the last two games. It was still in Sacramento’s favor though. Sacramento got quite a few soft calls. Reno couldn’t get a call to go their way for most of the match. Most of the match I was questioning the ref’s choices. A lot of them didn’t make sense to me. On one corner kick, Reno took, one of the Sacramento players was too close to the corner. The ref told him to back up like three times. He did but very slowly. I thought that should have been a yellow card. The Sacramento player wasted two minutes of play. At one point in the match, Sacramento took a corner kick. The attempt was saved. During the play, one of the Sacramento players kneed Reno’s keeper in the face. No call was made. Then the yellow at the end was unnecessary. I’ve seen plenty of games with similar results and celebrations with no calls. It’s the end of the game. A yellow at that point in the game for something more minor then some of the no calls is beyond a dumb call. That had to be the dumbest call of the whole game. Overall I give the ref’s a 2/10 for this game. They didn’t lose control of the game but they did make some pretty dumb decisions.
After Match Thoughts
It was good for Reno to fight back and get a draw. It shouldn’t have gotten to that. Reno had the lead early and shouldn’t have given it up. In the end, there was more scoring then I thought there would be. It still ended up being a close game. Reno didn’t go back to playing how they did in the last match of this series. This match was way different than the last two. Reno was able to capitalize on some of their scoring chances. Reno did score first and is still undefeated when scoring first. I was wrong about my prediction just because there were more goals then I thought there would be.
Moving forward Reno has to do better on defense. We aren’t going to go deep in the playoffs if our defense is giving up opportunities as they did in this match. I think defense is the biggest take away for Reno in this match.
Current Group A Standings
September, 13, 2020
Reno 1868 FC (25pts)
Sacramento Republic FC (25pts)
Tacoma Defiance (7pts)
Portland Timbers 2 (3pts)
Reno 1868 FC takes on Tacoma Defiance at home on Wednesday, September 16. Kickoff is set for 7:30PM. 7:30 is what it says on the USL Championship website. However, Reno 1868 FC has put 6:30 out there. This is the match that was rescheduled earlier in the season. Reno has defeated Tacoma twice already this season. The air quality may play a factor on Wednesday as to if the match happens or not.