Photo courtesy Lori Scholl / Tulsa Roughnecks FC
TULSA, Okla. – Chris Wehan scored the game-winner with six minutes to go as Reno 1868 FC took a 3-2 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday night at ONEOK Field to earn two wins from three in its trip to the Midwest. The Roughnecks went close twice early as Ian Svantesson had a big chance saved by Reno’s Matt Bersano, and Christian Thierjung curled a shot just wide, but a minute later the hosts hit the front as Luis Felipe flicked a pass over his marker, and played a deft first-time pass off the looping ball to Antoine Hoppenot for a close-range finish. 1868 FC’s Dane Kelly added to the lead as he put home a finish after pressure by Brian Brown and Chris Wehan set up the Jamaican for his 15th goal of the season seven minutes later. Tulsa’s Joey Calistri forced a low save by Bersano late in the first half, but the Roughnecks pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute when Juan Pablo Caffa picked out the top-right corner with a free kick from 25 yards out. The Roughnecks then leveled midway through the second half as Caffa’s shot from 20 yards was parried, but Svantesson slid in to put home the rebound. Reno got back on the front foot in the final 15 minutes, however, and 1868 FC grabbed a late lead when Wehan converted from close range after a low cross by Brown that restored its lead.
19’ – RNO – Antoine Hoppenot (Luis Felipe)
26’ – RNO – Dane Kelly (Chris Wehan)
52’ – TUL – Juan Pablo Caffa
67’ – TUL – Ian Svantesson
84' – RNO – Chris Wehan (Brian Brown)
Three Things That Matter:
1. After the disappointment of Wednesday night’s loss, Reno’s run of two goals in seven minutes to take control midway through the first half will have been exactly the type of response Head Coach Ian Russell will have been looking for. Both goals were well taken, too, with Luis Felipe’s exquisite piece of skill to loop the ball over his marker to wrong-foot him and then lay a first-time pass into the path of Antoine Hoppenot maybe the best moment of skill in the match. The second goal showed off Reno’s industry, meanwhile, as Brian Brown’s hard work allowed Chris Wehan to pick up another assist, and Dane Kelly another goal in stylish fashion.
2. If there’s anything we’ve learned about the Roughnecks under Head Coach David Vaudreuil, it’s that the side will keep working to find a way back into the game regardless of situation. The energy the Roughnecks brought in the second half to level the score was indicative of that, while the influence of Juan Pablo Caffa was again on display. An outstanding free kick finish that Roughnecks fans are starting to become used to seeing was matched by a low shot that caused Ian Svantesson’s equalizer in the 67th minute. Tulsa couldn’t hold on for a point, but they showed the sort of fight that can be expected moving forward in the playoff race.
3. Reno could have capitulated under the pressure of Tulsa’s rally in the second half. Instead the side redoubled its efforts to take an important three points, and two wins out of three, back to Nevada at the end of a busy week. Wehan got the goal, but it was again Brown whose industry provided the set-up. While Kelly and Hoppenot have rightly got the headlines in Reno’s inaugural season, Brown has looked on the verge of coming into his own over the last few performances, and now appears ready to add another prong to 1868 FC’s attack.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Chris Wehan, Reno 1868 FC – Wehan notched the game-winning goal and a league-high ninth assist on the night to earn 1868 FC an important road victory.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Saint Louis FC – August 10, 8:30 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Reno 1868 FC vs. San Antonio FC – August 12, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field