Colorado Springs scores off corner kick in stoppage team to salvage 2-2 draw, keep Reno winless
The first win of a season can be illusive, let alone the first victory in franchise history.
After losing three of the first four matches this spring (with one draw), Reno 1868 FC held a 2-1 lead over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the waning minutes on Saturday night in front of 4,881 at Greater Nevada Field.
The wait will be drawn out at least two more weeks.
In stoppage time, Switchbacks’ midfielder Shane Malcolm headed the ball from close range into the bottom right corner off a corner kick from Josh Suggs to bring the final score to a 2-2 draw.
“We got to be better at set pieces towards the end of the game,” Reno coach Ian Russell said. “They sent every player forward and we still kept a player on the post. We were basically down a man and we have to figure out stuff like that.
“The team is frustrated and the coaching staff is frustrated. Late chances and late corner kicks cost us, but I thought it was our best performance overall from the year.”
Reno now sits in last place in the 15-team Western Conference at 0-3-2. Colorado Springs (2-1-3) moved into fourth place.
The Switchbacks equalized in the 58th minute when Jordan Burt took a right-footed shot from very close range into the bottom right corner off an assist by Josh Phillips with a headed pass following a corner. Reno countered two minutes later when defender Jordan Murrell made an athletic header into the high center of the goal off a headed pass by Matt LaGrassa to bring Reno ahead 2-1.
The lead held until the closing minutes.
“It was a hard game,” Murrell said. “We should have come out with three points. We battled hard and we’re ready for next game.”
Both teams held even possession in the first half. A huge chance for Reno came in the 41st minute when Mackenzie Pridham had an opportunity to score in front of goal, but took a step too many. Four minutes later, a penalty was conceded by Switchbacks’ defender Sean McFarlane from a handball. Reno’s midfielder Junior Burgos set up at the spot and converted the penalty with a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net to put Reno ahead 1-0 at halftime.
“We played well throughout the 90 minutes, but fell short in the last two,” Burgos said.
Reno has a bye this weekend, which is well-timed for a team that’s battled a wave of early injuries, before playing its next match on the road against Phoenix Rising FC (1-0-2) at the Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex Saturday, May 6.