Photo courtesy David Calvert / Reno 1868 FC
RENO, Nev. – A powerful strike from hometown hero Kevin Partida and a late goal from Lindo Mfeka sent Reno 1868 FC past OKC Energy FC 2-0 at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday night. It was an end-to-end start as both teams looked to get an early breakthrough, but after the first 15 minutes OKC started to take charge of the match but the visitors were unable to find accuracy with their efforts when they got into the final third. In the final 10 minutes of the half Reno started pushing for a goal and was handed a big advantage in the 37th minute when OKC midfielder Miguel Gonzalez elbowed Reno midfielder Antoine Hoppenot, which saw the referee send off Gonzalez. With little time left before the break Reno couldn’t capitalize as the teams went to the break scoreless, but in the 58th minute reigning Danny Musovski went agonizingly close for the hosts as he headed into the side netting from close range. Eventually, the pressure told as Reno area native Kevin Partida skipped around his defender and hit a powerful strike which beat the goalkeeper and bounced off the crossbar and into the back of the net for his first professional goal in front of his hometown fans. Up a man and a goal, 1868 FC looked to just close out the match, starving OKC of possession, but with three minutes to go Lindo Mfeka continued his habit of scoring against OKC to put the game away for good with his fourth goal all-time when facing Energy FC to seal the win.
64’ – RNO – Kevin Partida (Seth Casiple)
87’ – RNO – Lindo Mfeka (Antoine Hoppenot)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Reno 1868 FC managed to get a measure of revenge against OKC for its 2017 USL Cup Playoffs defeat, when if fell on home turf in the Western Conference Quarterfinals to Energy FC. The win will continue to grow confidence for Reno, which has now taken consecutive wins for the first time this season as it heads to Texas for Wednesday morning’s match against Rio Grande Valley FC.
2. With Saturday's loss OKC Energy FC equaled an unwanted club record, losing a sixth straight match, matching a mark set in 2014 during the club’s inaugural season when the club lost six straight between April 15th and May 25th. The task doesn’t get any easier for Energy FC as it takes on the defending Western Conference Champions Swope Park Rangers in its next outing.
3. After going winless through its first four matches, 1868 FC has now won two in a row, an ominous sign for the rest of the Western Conference. In 2017 Reno went five matches before getting its first win of the year before going on to have the highest scoring season in USL history.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Seth Casiple, Reno 1868 FC – Providing the assist for the opening goal was just one part of Casiple’s impressive performance in this match. Creating four chances and having three shots of his own Casiple was a thorn in the side of the Energy FC defense all night.
Reno 1868 FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – May 2, 11:30a.m. ET, H-E-B Park
OKC Energy FC vs. Swope Park Rangers – May 5, 8p.m. ET, Taft Stadium