As the seconds ticked down Tuesday, Reno 1868 FC forward Antoine Hoppenot wrote an ending for the ages helping Reno take down rival Las Vegas Lights FC in one of the most thrilling matches in club history.
Hoppenot’s match-winner in stoppage time (90’ +4) helped Reno 1868 FC claim its first win over its in-state rival in the Silver State Cup in front of a crowd of 5,559 people at Greater Nevada Field.
In Reno’s last gasp, midfielder Guy Abend found a streaking Hoppenot from midfield and lobbed up a beautiful pass for Hoppenot in the box.
Hoppenot hit it first time past Las Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferriño to help Reno earn its first three points in a month. The win also helped Reno remain in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Tuesday’s Silver State Cup was looking to go Reno’s way early as leading scorer and forward Brian Brown notched his 12th goal of the season in the fifth minute.
Brown chipped Ferriño after a beautiful pass from defender and captain Jordan Murrell. Reno entered halftime up 1-0 and in the driver’s seat to walk away with a win.
But Las Vegas would not go away, amping up the pressure and scoring just two minutes into the second half. Carlos Alvarez put it past Reno goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski to even up the scoreline in the 47th minute.
Vegas’ relentless attack did not let up, but neither did Marcinkowski’s heroics in goal. Marcinkowski kept Reno even until Hoppenot’s late-match thriller.
With the win, Reno remains in sixth place in the West ahead of another crucial match Saturday in Fresno against Fresno FC.
Reno returns home for Noche Latina presented by Toro Law on Sept. 15 against LA Galaxy II. Kickoff for that match is slated for 6:45 p.m. Tickets for that match can be purchased at Reno1868FC.com/tickets.