Photo courtesy David Calvert / Reno 1868 FC
RENO, Nev. – The Portland Timbers 2 scored a late equalizer to earn a 1-1 draw with Reno 168 FC in front of 6,027 fans at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday night. Portland (1-15-3, 6pts) had an early chance of the night as a counterattack as Jacob Montes was denied by 1868 FC goalkeeper Matt Bersano, but Reno (7-4-6, 27pts) had control for much of the first half. Dane Kelly forced a good save in the fifth minute by T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, while Brent Richards also forced a good save against his former club with a low shot to the right corner. Kelly again went close late in the first half as McIntosh got down well to save, and Chris Wehan missed a big chance nine minutes into the second half on the counterattack, only to shoot wide of the right post. Portland almost took the lead in the 66th minute when Michael Amick’s header went just wide of the left post, but five minutes later 1868 FC hit the front as Seth Casiple’s deflected shot wrong-footed McIntosh and found the net. Reno pushed for a winner late, and Darwin Espinal curled a shot wide of the right post in the final minute. Richards also had a stoppage-time shot saved by McIntosh as T2 held on for a good road point.
71’ – RNO – Seth Casiple (Chris Wehan)
83’ – POR – Gio Calixtro
Three Things That Matter:
1. Reno 1868 FC had plenty of opportunity to earn victory on Saturday night, but for the first time in a while one of the best attacks in the USL misfired at crucial moments, and saw T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh come up with some good saves to keep the game close. 1868 FC is still well-positioned in fourth place in the Western Conference, but considering a win would have moved the side four points clear of what’s developing into a dogfight directly below it in the standings, a return to form in attack would be welcome next time out.
2. When Reno’s goal came, it was another gut-punch for a Portland Timbers 2 side that has gone through plenty of misfortune this season. A wicked deflection once again saw Kendall McIntosh’s chances of a first shutout this season denied as former T2 player Seth Casiple found the net against his former team to put the hosts ahead. When things aren’t going for you, those seem to be exactly the sort of goals that go against you.
3. The added misfortune for T2 was that prior to Reno’s goal the visitors had begun to look sharp in attack themselves. That finally paid off with seven minutes to go, however, as T2 earned its third draw of the season thanks to Gio Calixtro’s first professional goal in his first professional start. The growing pains that come with the youth in T2’s regular lineup have been evident this year, but moments like that will carry a player forward like Calixtro forward with added confidence to the next opportunity.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Kendall McIntosh, Portland Timbers 2 – McIntosh recorded seven saves to keep T2 in the contest, allowing Calixtro’s first goal to stand as the equalizer.
Reno 1868 FC at Swope Park Rangers – July 30, 5 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field
Portland Timbers 2 vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – July 29, 11 p.m. ET, Providence Park