Reno 1868 settles for draw in season opener

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RENO, Nev. – The 90-minute mark proved to be the determining factor in Reno 1868 FC’s season opener against Orange County SC on Saturday.

Both teams held their ground in the first 45 minutes and went into the second half at zeroes. The match quickly picked up in the 63rd minute with a left-footed goal by forward Brian Brown and assisted by Lindo Mfeka. Just five minutes later, it was Mfeka who put one in the back of the net and Reno was up 2-0.

In the 78th minute, Orange County answered with a goal by Michael Seaton. For the next 12 minutes, Reno maintained possession and seemed to have the win secured, until a stoppage time penalty kick by Aodhan Quinn tied up the game before the final whistle.

“That was one of those games where, and this is the problem with soccer, you can dominate a game and still giveaway points” head coach Ian Russell said. “I thought we were in complete control of the game, especially when we went up 2-0. We had a couple of bad errors and ended with a tie.”

The goal for Brown was his 21st overall with the club, adding to his run as Reno 188 FC’s leading goal scorer of all-time.

"The first half I was beating myself up for not finishing, so coming out the second half I told myself I need to get a goal...at least one,” Brown said. “I had a great ball from Lindo, and it was good to get on the score sheets."

The match also marked midfielder Sam Gleadle’s first start for Reno 1868 FC in a regular season match. Gleadle had two shots and made a direct impact on the club’s play.

“Starting him was one of those situations where he either steps up or he doesn’t,” head coach Ian Russell said. “Sam, he stepped up.”

Reno hosts USL Championship newcomer Austin Bold FC next Saturday, March 16 at 1:45 p.m. and will also hold a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the stadium. For ticket info, visit Reno1868FC.com or the Greater Nevada Field ticket office.