Reno 1868 FC headed to Tacoma Saturday to take on Tacoma Defiance for the last game of the USL Championship regular season. This game was originally scheduled to be played in Reno. The venue was changed after the July 23 match between these two teams was postponed. The last match between these two teams was also postponed. That match was only postponed by a day. Reno Won the previous three matches against Tacoma.
Reno started the season in March with a match in Tacoma. Reno ended the season in October with a match in Tacoma. Kick-off was set for 7 pm. The weather in Tacoma was foggy.
The focus for this match was on defense. Reno needed to step up their game on defense for this match. Reno’s defense had not preformed where it should have in the last three matches. Another area where Reno has been struggling recently is establishing their game. They were not able to establish playing how they wanted to against Sacramento. Reno also wasn’t able to establish their game for long periods against Las Vegas. Reno also needed to score and not let up. Keeping the pressure on the opposing team for an entire game is something that Reno hasn’t been able to do a lot of. They need to work on that going into the playoffs. Reno wouldn’t be able to win this game if they didn’t keep the pressure on Tacoma.
Reno also had the chance to end the season with the best record in the league. Having the Best record in the league would give Reno the chance to host every playoff match that they are in. If they drew or didn’t win they wouldn’t get the best record. If San Antonio beat Austin on Sunday by something like six goals San Antonio wins the best Record in the league.
For Tacoma to win this match they would need to score first. If Reno scores first the match will end in a Tacoma loss. Tacoma couldn’t let Reno establish their game plan. If they did Reno would dominate the match. Tacoma also had the chance to take advantage of Reno’s defense. Reno hasn’t been sharp. Reno has struggled to keep teams out of the net. If Tacoma took advantage of that they would win.
I predicted a 3-2 Reno victory.
What Happened In The First Half
16’ minute Tacoma scored. The goal was scored by Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez. The assist came from. Danny Reynolds. Reynolds threw the ball into Ocampo-Chavez. He took it towards the center. He took a shot from outside of the box. The shot beat the dive of Reno’s keeper. This goal was a defensive mistake by Reno. Reno didn’t challenge for the ball when Ocampo-Chavez was running towards the center. They also backed up and let him have the space to take a shot.
35’ minute Reno tied the game. Brent Richards scored unassisted. The ball was crossed into the box on a corner. The ball bounced around. It bounced in front of Richards who took a shot. The shot went in as Tacoma was scrambling to find the ball.
What Happened In The Second Half
58’ minute Reno missed a penalty shot. Christiano Francois was taken down in the box. A penalty was awarded. Foster Langsdorf took the shot. The keeper guessed right. The keeper was able to make the save.
62’ minute Reno got the lead. Foster Langsdorf would get the goal. Christiano Francois would get the assist. The ball was directed into the box. Francois got to the ball. He one-touched it towards the net. Langsdorf was on the other side of the pass. Unchallenged he had a wide-open net to put the ball away.
89’ minute Daniel Robles of Tacoma Defiance received a yellow card for arguing.
89’ minute Kevin Partida of Reno 1868 FC received a yellow card for arguing.
90+1’ minute Sergio Rivas of Reno 1868 FC received a yellow card for arguing.
90+9’ minute the game ended in a 2-1 Reno victory.
At half time both teams walked off the field frustrated. Something that had to do with Foster Langsdorf. Both teams were in each other’s faces but the ref didn’t do anything about it. Towards the end of the match, it did look like the ref was losing control of the match. Multiple players were in each other’s faces while some players argued with the ref. I know the ref made a few calls without deciding to issue yellow cards. That’s probably what led to the ref losing control of the game. I give the ref a 4 out of 10 for this match.
October, 3, 2020
After Match Thoughts
Reno’s defense did step up for this match. This wasn’t their best defensive performance. They did step up. An example of this was the defensive save Reno made in the 8’ minute. In that play, the keeper lost control of the ball. Tacoma had a wide-open net. One of Reno’s defensemen got there to make the save. Reno did still make defensive mistakes that did cost them. Tacoma’s goal was a break down on defense for Reno.
I don’t think Reno established their game the way they would like too. They did establish their game in small durations during the game. I think that allowed them to win. I think that was something they needed to do. They were still able to walk away with a win. I think Reno did keep the pressure on Tacoma for most of the game. There were spots in the game where they didn’t keep pressure. Moving forward they need to find how to keep pressure for 90 minutes.
Tacoma did score first. That wasn’t enough for them to win. In the play where they did score, they did take advantage of Reno’s defense. They weren’t able to do that for the whole game though. They did try. Tacoma did allow Reno to establish play how Reno wanted for short durations during the match. This ended up costing Tacoma the match.
Reno has the best record in the league. It is now finalized. Austin was able to beat San Antonio. Reno now has a home advantage throughout the playoffs. Will Reno be able to sharpen their game in areas where they have been struggling? The defense is not where it should be. Reno hasn’t looked like a playoff team in weeks. This will be the biggest test of the season. We know Reno can win. The biggest question moving forward is how bad does Reno want to win?
Final Group A Standings
October, 5, 2020
Reno 1868 FC (36pts)
Sacramento Republic FC (30pts)
Tacoma Defiance (14pts)
Portland Timbers 2 (9pts)
Reno 1868 FC hosts LA Galaxy 2 on Saturday, October 10 for the first match of the 2020 playoffs. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 6 pm. The match is set to take place at Greater Nevada Field. LA is the second-place team from group b. This will be the first matchup between these two clubs in 2020. Fans are expected to be at Greater Nevada Field for the match. There are restrictions and limitations on that. I have not seen any updates on fans attending the matches since last Thursday. The update I got was that the stadium’s plan still needed approval. I have not seen if their plan has gotten approval yet.