Photo courtesy Chris Ortiz / Swope Park Rangers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Antoine Hoppenot had a goal and assist as Reno 1868 FC took a 4-1 victory against the Swope Park Rangers on Sunday evening at Children’s Mercy Victory Field, ending the Rangers seven-game winning streak. Reno took the lead in just 60 seconds as a good move down the right allowed Nick von Niederhausern to center for Antoine Hoppenot to finish at the top of the six-yard area. 1868 FC’s Dane Kelly almost added a second two minutes later, only for Adrian Zendejas to save, and Chris Wehan skied a shot from six yards in the ninth minute as the visitors should have doubled their lead. The Rangers gained more control after the early going, and Cameron Iwasa forced a save nine minutes before halftime with the side’s first shot on goal of the game. Reno added to its lead a minute before halftime, however, as Luis Felipe finished from close range after Matt LaGrassa’s knockdown at the back post off a corner from the right. Kelly threatened again for Reno early in the second half as his curling shot was tipped off the crossbar and over by Zendejas, but the Rangers pulled a goal back on the hour-mark as Felipe Hernandez’s free kick from the left found its way untouched into the back of the net. Reno restored its two-goal lead with 14 minutes to go, however, as Kelly scored against his former club from Hoppenot’s pass from the right side of the penalty area. Seth Casiple completed the win in the final minute as his lobbed finish from Junior Burgos assist capped Swope Park’s first home defeat since May 26.
1’ – RNO – Antoine Hoppenot (Nick von Niederhausern)
45’ – RNO – Luis Felipe (Matt LaGrassa)
60’ – SPR – Felipe Hernandez
76’ – RNO – Dane Kelly (Antoine Hoppenot)
90’ – RNO – Seth Casiple (Junior Burgos)
Three Things That Matter:
1. All eyes were on Reno 1868 FC’s Dane Kelly going into Sunday’s contest as he went up against his former club, but the spotlight was seized by teammate Antoine Hoppenot a minute into the contest, and his performance drove another fine attacking display by the visitors. Hoppenot’s clever finish with the outside of his right foot gave Reno the lead, and he went on to create another big chance eight minutes later that Chris Wehan should have put away. Hoppenot’s hold-up play – winning six of eight duels – was supplemented by making good decisions after earning possession, and ended up providing Kelly with the goal he had been looking for with 14 minutes to go as Reno took a big road win.
2. The Rangers entered the game with a 471-minute shutout streak and seven-game winning streak. The first came to an end only 60 seconds into the first half, and encapsulated a slugging performance that briefly threatened to spark into life in the second half, but saw Swope Park never really get into a high gear. With San Antonio taking victory on Saturday night, the Rangers slipped back behind SAFC into third place in the Western Conference standings, and will be looking for a much sharper display when they visit Missouri rival Saint Louis FC next weekend.
3. Reno’s undefeated streak is now at six games after Sunday’s victory, putting the side into the top four in the Western Conference. The squad has a busy week ahead, too, with the three-game road trip heading next to Oklahoma where 1868 FC will face OKC Energy FC on Wednesday night at Taft Stadium, and then Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday at ONEOK Field. While Reno is seven points clear of the ninth-place Seattle Sounders FC 2 going into the final 10 weeks of the season, a comfortable margin in terms of playoff prospects, it will want to remain on the boil to try and earn the chance at a home playoff game when the postseason arrives.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Antoine Hoppenot, Reno 1868 FC – Hoppenot had a goal and assist to lead Reno to an impressive road victory against a Rangers side that hadn’t conceded in five consecutive games.
Swope Park Rangers at Saint Louis FC – August 5, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis
Reno 1868 FC at OKC Energy FC – August 2, 8:30 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium