PORTLAND, Ore. – Reno 1868 FC booked its ticked to the USL Cup Playoffs for the second-straight season Wednesday night following a 2-0 road win over Portland Timbers 2.
Reno’s win, which also swept the three-match series with Portland, helped the club clinch a spot and move up to fifth place in the USL’s Western Conference.
Reno is now on the verge of hosting a playoff match for the second-straight year.
All Reno needed was a draw Wednesday, but the club wasn’t having that. Defender Duke Lacroix opened his account with Reno scoring his first goal of the season in the 36th minute from close range.
Reno dominated the first half of play, nearly making it 2-0 in the 40th minute off a Brian Brown header. The club went into halftime up 1-0 and spent much of the second half defending an amped up Timbers 2 squad.
Timbers 2’s best chances of the night came in the 58th minute but defender Brenton Griffiths sent two shots on goal off the line with spectacular clearances.
Reno’s defense held tight and opened up the goal that would both write Reno history and seal the game.
Forward Antoine Hoppenot started a two-on-one break with fellow forward Jochen Graf.
Hoppenot passed it off to Graf as Graf put away his first goal in a Reno 1868 FC uniform. The assist was Hoppenot’s 13th assist this season, passing Chris Wehan’s record of 12 set in 2017.
Reno will not have a shot to climb into the Top 4 in the West and lock up a home playoff spot in the club’s last two matches of the season. Reno heads to Phoenix to take on Phoenix Rising SC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Reno 1868 FC Starting XI
GK (32) Matt Bersano, D (11) Duke Lacroix, D (23) Brenton Griffiths, D (5) Zach Carroll (C), D (16) Brent Richard, M (14) Chris Wehan, M (8) Guy Abend, M (10) Lindo Mfeka, M (84) Seth Casiple, F (29) Antoine Hoppenot, F (99) Brian Brown
Reno 1868 FC Subs
GK (35) Kyle Ihn, F (28) Mo Thiaw, D (6) Thomas Janjigian, F (3) Jochen Graf, M (22) Jerry van Ewijk, D (4) Jordan Murrell, M (7) William Seymore
Substitutions: 61’ Brian Brown off….Jochen Graf on, 90’ Jochen Graf off…Mo Thiaw on, 90’ (+1) Lindo Mfeka off…Jordan Murrell on
Goals: 36’ Duke Lacroix - Left Foot - Difficult Angle on the Left - Centre of the Goal - Assist: Seth Casiple….85’ Jochen Graf - Right Foot - Centre of the Box - Bottom Right Hand Corner - Assist: Antoine Hoppenot
Portland Timbers 2 Starting XI
GK (41) Alex Mangles, D (87) Adrian Diz Pe, D (98) Lamar Batista, D (84) James Mulligan, M (26) Modou Jadama, C, M (40) Renzo Zambrano, M (77) Andre Lewis, M (23) Jack Barmby, F (77) Andre Lewis, F (94) Carlos Anguiano, (28) F Foster Langsdorf
Subs: GK (61) Austin Pack, F (91) Gio Calixtro, (49) Josh Phillips (D), (80) Augustine Williams, (48) Max Ornstill M, (45) M Harold Hansen, D (53) Devyn Jambga
Substitutions: 50’ Marvin Loria off….Harold Hanson on, 81’ James Mulligan off…Augustine Williams on, 87’ Andre Williams off…Giovanni Calixtro on