Photo courtesy of Reno 1868 FC
RENO, Nev. – Two teams coming off losses in their opening-week matches settled for a draw as Reno 1868 FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 finished tied 1-1 on Saturday at Greater Nevada Field. Brenton Griffiths scored the first goal in 1868 FC history within the first four minutes, only to see Vancouver forward Thomas Sanner find an equalizer just four minutes later. Both goals also came during set-piece sequences, with Griffiths heading home a Junior Burgos corner and Sanner eventually finishing several touches after WFC2’s own corner. Both sides are 0-1-1 (1 point) in the early going this season.
4’ – RNO – Brenton Griffiths (Junior Burgos)
8’ – VAN – Thomas Sanner (Cole Seiler)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Following a scoreless offensive performance last week during a 2-0 loss to Orange County SC, the first goal in 1868 FC still was there for the taking. At the start of the fourth minute Saturday, history was written with defender Brenton Griffiths taking the honors. It was a textbook set piece from Reno’s standpoint as Junior Burgos’ ball from the right corner flag stayed above Vancouver’s back line and Griffiths timed his jump well, heading the ball across the mouth toward the far right corner of the frame for a 1-0 lead.
2. Set pieces were the early theme as Vancouver needed only four minutes to answer with its first goal of the season. Thomas Sanner ultimately found the goal, and he was deserving of it as his original header caromed off of the crossbar following a corner kick. Play continued in the eighth minute and Cole Seiler headed the ball into the middle of the action around the edge of the six. Sanner finished this time around for his first of the season. Sanner made a name for himself with his hat trick against Arizona United SC (now Phoenix Rising FC) during a 3-1 win on Aug. 21, 2016.
3. With WFC2’s Kadin Chung (Canada U-23s) and Deklan Wynne (New Zealand) back from national team duties, Vancouver certainly enjoyed having its depth on the back line. The outside backs were effective in their connection passing, but Saturday as a whole lacked goals from the run of play. Defensively, both teams lived dangerously as a second goal could have come if not for multiple offside sequences or shots off the frame.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Brenton Griffiths, Reno 1868 FC – Griffiths tallied the first goal in Reno’s history. Griffiths also was close to tallying the winner on the final delivery of the match, but his header went wide of the post in stoppage time.
Reno 1868 FC at Real Monarchs SLC – April 6, 9 p.m. ET, Rio Tinto Stadium
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2 – April 8, 6 p.m. ET, McLeod Athletic Park