A lot can change in four months.
When Reno 1868 FC first played San Antonio FC on the road (in mid April), it left with a 4-0 defeat. When the two squads met again on Saturday at Greater Nevada Field, it was Reno emerging with a shutout victory, 2-0, in front of 5,847.
“This was a huge win for us against one of the top teams in the USL,” Reno coach Ian Russell said. “It is up there with one of the top wins this season.”
Reno (10-5-6) picked up its second win in four games against a top-three team in the Western Conference, remaining in fourth place, just four points back of Swope Park. San Antonio (11-2-8) absorbed just its second defeat of the season and saw its lead over third-place Swope Park trimmed to a point.
San Antonio entered as the best defensive team in the USL, allowing only 11 goals all year. It was just the third time this year it surrendered two goals in a match.
“I thought we pressed for 90 minutes,” Russell said. “They had a tough time keeping up with us, especially at elevation. And that is the best defensive team out there.”
Midfielder Luis Felipe gave Reno a 1-0 halftime lead with a 25th-minute tally.
Brian Brown put the game away in the 70th minute when he stole a pass from San Antonio keeper Diego Restrepo and scored on an open net.
— Reno 1868 FC (@Reno1868FC) August 13, 2017
“I saw their defense playing up all night, so I just went for it and was able to make a play,” Brown said.
Reno goes on the road to play rival Sacramento Republic FC (9-6-4) on Saturday night. It will be the two team’s third meeting of the season. Sacramento eliminated Reno from the US Open cup in May. Reno evened the score in June with a 2-0 win at Greater Nevada Field.