Reno 1868 FC dropped their road match against Phoenix Rising FC tonight, falling 4-2 in the desert. Reno falls to 13-7-5, but avoids sliding to third in the USL’s Western Conference thanks to a draw between Fresno FC and Real Monarchs SLC.
“I thought we fought and played quite well at times, but made some errors that cost us,” said head coach Ian Russell. “If they fight like that I’ve got no complaints. I thought we went toe to toe with them and created some chances.”
Phoenix would score first, making it 1-0 with a goal in the 20th minute. The lead would hold up through the rest of the first half, despite the boys in blue outshooting Phoenix 8-5 through 45 minutes.
“They sat back in the second half, again. Which they don’t ever do,” said Russell. “We worked on what we need to do when teams sit back and we were able to get two on them.”
Within eight minutes of the second half starting, Los Azules would tie it up with a strike from Danny Musovski to make it 1-1. Phoenix would counter in the 59th minute as Solomon Asante converted a penalty to retake the lead 2-1. Two minutes later, another Phoenix goal would make it 3-1.
Reigning player of the month Corey Hertzog would score his 12th goal of the season in the 74th minute, cutting the lead in half at 3-2. The total moves him into a tie for fourth in the league.
Asante’s second penalty of the night would finish it at 4-2 in the 79th minute.
Thanks to a draw between Fresno FC and Real Monarchs SLC, Reno avoided falling into third in the west. Both Fresno and Reno own 44 points, with Reno holding on to one more win. Fresno will make the trip to Northern Nevada on September 7 in another hugely important match.
“The good thing that came out of this is that guys are completely bought in and the fight was there,” said Russell. “We’ve got to get better but I told them if you work as hard as you can I don’t care what the score is.”
Reno outshot Phoenix 17-12, just 1868 FC’s second loss this season when outshooting their opponent.
“I think we know we can compete with this team, whether we face them in the playoffs or not who knows.”
Reno will have a bye week next week, and will be back in action on August 31 to welcome Portland Timbers 2 to Greater Nevada Field. Kickoff is set for 6:45 p.m. PT, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free 1868 FC scarf. Tickets are available at reno1868fc.com or the Greater Nevada Field ticket office.