Rout snaps Swope Park’s run of five-straight shutouts, seven-straight victories
Reno 1868 FC scored twice on both sides of halftime and rolled 4-1 in Kansas City against Swope Park on Sunday afternoon.
The win snapped SPR’s seven-game winning streak as well as 10-game unbeaten streak and kept Reno (8-4-6) in fourth place in the Western Conference. Third-place Swope Park fell to 12-5-2 and suffered just its second home loss of the season in 10 games.
There’s little question it was the biggest victory of the season for Reno, and thus, the most significant in franchise history. The timing made the accomplishment even more substantial. Reno was coming off consecutive draws with two of the bottom three teams in the Western Conference (Vancouver and Portland). It was also the first of three-straight road games, where 1868 FC predictably hasn’t been as strong. Reno is 5-2-3 at Greater Nevada Field and was 2-3-2 away from home before Sunday’s rout.
Swope Park entered as one of the best defensive teams in the USL and had put up five-straight shutouts before conceding four goals to Reno. It was the most goals allowed by the Rangers since April 23. In the process, Reno moved back into the USL’s top spot for goals scored in the season with 46.
The home side grabbed momentum in the second half and threated to tie after halving the 2-0 halftime deficit in the 60th minute. However, Dane Kelly provided a big insurance goal against his former team in the 76th minute with an assist from Antoine Hoppenot. It was Kelly’s 14th of the season, pulling him into a tie for the USL lead with fellow Jamaican striker Romario Williams (Charleston Battery).
Seth Casiple got on the stat sheet in the waning minutes with the most impressive goal of the match. Junior Burgos arched a long pass into the box where Casiple chipped a one-timer over the keeper and under the crossbar from the top of the box to cap the scoring.
The barrage started almost immediately for Reno, nearly 80 seconds in, when Hoppenot slid for a pass from Nick von Niederhausern in the box and hit it with the outside of his foot to put the ball just inside the near post. Hoppenot’s seventh goal of the season ended Swope Park’s stretch of 471 minutes without giving up a goal.
Luis Felipe doubled the distance the closing minutes of the first half.
The road trip concludes with a pair of games this week. Reno goes to OK Energy FC (6-8-4) Wednesday night and Tulsa Roughnecks FC (8-8-1) on Saturday afternoon.