Dane Kelly landed his second consecutive hat trick against USL competition and Reno rolled to the first home win in franchise history, 6-0, over Seattle Sounders 2 on Saturday night.
An announced crowd of 5,711 showed up at Greater Nevada Field and watched the goals pile up, following the franchise’s first win two weeks ago at Phoenix, 4-0.
“It was very special and our fans are amazing,” Kelly said. “We are very thankful for their dedication and we’re happy to give them a win.”
In the 28th minute, Kelly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the net off a sly pass from defender Brent Richards. Three minutes later, Seattle forward Irvin Parra made a shaky challenge on Antoine Hoppenot to provide Reno a penalty kick. Kelly converted the penalty and put Reno ahead 2-0.
In the 34th minute, Reno’s Hoppenot drew another foul in the box for another penalty as Seattle defender Rodrigue Ele was shown a red card. Kelly would take his second penalty a minute after to claim his hat trick and put Reno ahead 3-0.
“He (Kelly) is dangerous, scoring one goal in two games is good. Scoring six is just extraordinary,” Reno coach Ian Russell said.
The 44th minute brought Reno’s fourth goal as Lindo Mfeka found space in the box to make a left-footed shot into the center of the goal and put Reno ahead 4-0 at halftime.
With the 10-0 aggregate score in its last two USL matches, Reno (2-3-2) suddenly owns a goal differential of +2. Only four teams in the 15-team Western Conference are better. Seattle dropped to 4-5-1.
Reno remains at Greater Nevada on Wednesday when it will host the Tulsa Roughnecks FC (4-4-0) at 7:30 p.m.
“The team is starting to come together,” Russell said. “I think I was expecting that from game one and perhaps I was a little naïve, but I think the team is playing great soccer and we will continue.”