RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC came from behind to earn its first victory of the season over Austin Bold FC at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday. Here are three takeaways:
1. OFF THE MARK: After playing to a scoreless draw last weekend in Las Vegas, Austin Bold FC opened its USL Championship account early in its visit to Reno. Kléber, the Brazilian forward nicknamed “The Gladiator”, found the ball near the top of the box and struck it sweetly past 1868 FC goalkeeper Matt Bersano to stamp his name into the club’s history books. Bold FC nearly grabbed a second just after halftime as Calum Mallace’s right-footed effort from the top of the penalty area deflected off a sliding defender and onto Bersano’s crossbar. If that shot goes in, Austin takes a 2-1 lead and likely comes away with at least a point. However, even in defeat, Kléber’s 14th-minute strike will surely be a moment the fans in Austin cherish for a long time to come.
2. WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Last season, Brian Brown was charged with filling the shoes of the Championship’s all-time leading scorer Dane Kelly in attack for Reno 1868 FC. The Jamaican forward picked up right where his predecessor left off, netting 17 goals across the regular season and USL Cup Playoffs. So far this season, the 26-year-old has showed no signs of slowing down as his second-half brace lifted Reno to its first victory of the season. Brown has now played a part in all four of the club’s goals over the opening two weeks, scoring three times and adding an assist.
3. HOME SWEET HOME: After throwing away a two-goal lead last weekend in its home opener against Orange County SC, Reno gave its fans at Greater Nevada Field the bounce-back result they were looking for. It wasn’t the prettiest performance, as the side was outshot 17-10 by the visitors, but Head Coach Ian Russell won’t care as his side fought hard in the second half to earn the three points. A home win this early in the season is also an improvement for 1868 FC, as the club had taken until its fourth home game to earn victory in each of its first two seasons. With a first home win in the bag, Reno take aim at improving on its 9-5-3 record at Greater Nevada Field from 2018.