Reno 1868 sets USL record, clinches playoff berth

Published: Sep. 20, 2017 at 10:07 PM PDT
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History, a hat trick and a guaranteed spot in the USL Playoffs highlighted Wednesday’s 3-0 Reno 1868 FC win over OKC Energy FC.

The club set a new USL regular season scoring record (63 goals) and secured a spot in the USL playoffs after the win in front of 6,001 fans at Greater Nevada Field.

Lindo Mfeka led the way with a hat-trick, his first hat trick ever as a soccer player (including youth clubs).

Mfeka opened up scoring in the 18th minute as Reno took a 1-0 lead into halftime. The South African native and San Jose Earthquakes draftee didn’t stop in the second half.

His second goal of the night set the new USL record. New York Red Bulls II held the previous record with 61 goals

To put the cherry on top, Mfeka scored the third and final goal of the night in the 62nd minute to make it 63 goals on the season.

With the win, Reno also avenged an earlier loss this season to OKC Energy FC. The squad’s sights will now turn to Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. inside Greater Nevada Field.

Saturday is also Hispanic Heritage Night at Greater Nevada Field.

Assistant Coach Eric Bucchere (who served as interim coach)

On clinching a spot in the playoffs…

“This is one night that I won’t forget. It felt good for the guys and Ian (Russell).”

On getting his first win in the USL…

“This really wasn’t my win. This was Ian’s win. But this was a special night.”

On what is next…

“We will come back tomorrow and focus on clinching a Top 4 spot.”

Midfielder Lindo Mfeka

On getting his first ever hat trick…

“It was an amazing feeling. I’ve never recorded a hat trick before, including in youth soccer. It felt easy…after I got the third goal.”

On clinching a playoff spot…

“I’ve never been in the playoffs before so this is new for me too. This is the best group of guys I have been around, hands down.”

On what is next…

“We need to focus on getting that top 4 spot.”

Goalkeeper Matt Bersano

On ninth clean sheet…

“It’s a great feeling. It’s good to be home and playing in front of this crowd. Whether it is 90 degrees or 50, they are always behind us.”

On clinching a playoff spot…

“There is nothing better than proving people wrong. The fact that we did it with four games to go is a testament to our team.”

On what is next...

“We want to get that top 4 spot. But we need to take it one game at a time.”