SLC’s four first-half goals sink Reno 1868 FC
Reno 1868 FC played the first away match of the club’s inaugural season on Thursday night in Salt Lake City against Real Monarchs SLC at Rio Tinto Stadium. A slow start dealt Reno 1868 a 5-3 defeat.
Reno’s newest professional sports franchise dropped to 0-2-1 on the season. The Monarchs remained unbeaten at 3-0-0.
After falling into a quick 3-0 hole, Reno retaliated in the 39th minute with a goal from forward Mackenzie Pridham off a header assisted by Antoine Hoppenot. The Monarchs followed with their fourth goal four minutes later to take a 4-1 lead to the locker room.
Reno mixed up their tactics in the second half by switching out Pridham for Dane Kelly in the 63rd minute. In the 84th minute, Kelly beat the keeper with a shot from a difficult angle into the right corner of the net to bring the score 4-2. Three minutes later, Kelly became the first player in USL history to score 50 goals off a header in the box from close range and brought the score 4-3. Reno had a chance to salvage a point when Junior Burgos took an attempt from outside the box but skied the ball high and wide.
The Monarchs scored the nail-the-coffin goal in the final minutes of added time when José Hernández made a right-footed shot from the center of the box into the bottom right corner.
Reno remains on the road Saturday, heading to Texas to play San Antonio FC (2-0-1), before returning to Greater Nevada Field Saturday, April 22, against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (1-0-2).