Welcome to the Classic Championship Game of the Day, where today we revisit a rivalry contest that provided plenty of action and a late twist as Reno 1868 FC played host to Las Vegas Lights FC in a Silver State Cup clash at Greater Nevada Field.
In its second season in the Championship, 1868 FC was firmly on its way to the postseason for a second consecutive year with forward Brian Brown having picked up where fellow Jamaican Dane Kelly had left off the previous season. Brown had recorded 11 goals to lead Reno to 10 victories, while being ably backed by Antoine Hoppenot, who had nine assists going into this midweek clash. 1868 FC was looking to reverse a recent downturn in form, however, having gone winless in its last four outings after a 2-1 defeat to its other big rival Sacramento Republic FC on home turf in its prior contest.
The postseason, meanwhile, was looking a long way off for Las Vegas, which had struggled after a remarkable start to its inaugural season that saw the side go undefeated through its first four games. Since then, Lights FC had been unable to find the consistency it was hoping for, especially defensively where it had conceded the second-most goals in the Championship with opponents finding the net 53 times. There was, however, a chance for Las Vegas to find some success in its first year against its rivals from the north of the state, with the season series having previously seen the sides share a 1-1 draw at Cashman Field early in the season. A win on the road would put Lights FC in position to claim the rivalry series’ first edition.
The scene is set, so sit back, relax and enjoy a classic clash from the Championship’s history.