66th minute tally clinches 2-1 win in Los Angeles, moves 1868 FC into second place
Reno 1868 FC’s surge up the Western Conference table continued Wednesday night with a 2-1 road win over Los Angeles Galaxy II.
The expansion franchise pushed its season-long winning streak to six games and moved into second place for the first time this season, just seven points back of first-place Salt Lake. Reno (14-5-6) is technically tied with San Antonio for the second spot, but gets the nod because it has one more win than the Texas squad (13-2-9).
Los Angeles (7-14-4) was bested by Reno for the second time this season, also falling by a USL record score of 9-0 at Greater Nevada Field on July 3, and remains well out of playoff contention in 13th place in the Western Conference.
Darwin Espinal broke a 1-1 draw in the 66th, scoring what amounted to the game winner. It was the midseason acquisition’s second goal in eight matches with 1868 FC.
The guests grabbed a 1-0 lead just five minutes in when defender Brent Richards also netted his second goal of the season. That lead held until the 36th minute.
With two goals on the night, the USL’s highest-scoring offense closed within three goals of setting a new league record for goals in a season – it’s scored 59 this year – with seven regular-season matches remaining. Reno needs just seven more points to clinch a postseason berth.
The four-game road trip continues Saturday against Seattle Sounders 2 (9-15-2). Reno won the first meeting between the two sides in May, 6-0 at Greater Nevada Field.
A trip to Rio Grande Valley FC (7-12-7) next Saturday will bookend the trip.