Photo courtesy CPI / Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – An impressive performance in goal from Rio Grande Valley FC goalkeeper Nico Corti helped keep things scoreless as the Toros and Reno 1868 FC fought out a 0-0 draw at H-E-B Park on Wednesday. RGVFC started the match well, holding the bulk of possession with a packed midfield that was starving the Reno attackers of the ball. That dominance would hold through the first 25 minutes of the match but in the final 20 minutes before the halftime break, Reno started to come into the match, adjusting to the Toros’ shape. Reno thought it had the opening goal on the half-hour mark when Lindo Mfeka put the ball in the back of the net but was denied by the offside flag after the Toros' defense stepped up well. Reno finally broke through the strong RGV offside trap in the 35th minute when Antoine Hoppenot was played through but his shot was denied by a strong save from Corti. The battle between Hoppenot and Corti was renewed early in the second half with Corti again denying the Reno attacking midfielder with a strong kick-save. Toros forward Aldo Quintanilla had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring in the 64th minute when he was clean through on goal but he sent his toe poke agonizingly wide of the right post. A free kick saw Reno miss by a matter of inches in the 81st minute through a curling free kick by Jerry van Ewijk that just didn’t curl enough to find the top-right corner, and that would be as close as either side would get, with the match ending scoreless.
Three Things That Matter:
1. Reno controlled large portions of the match, winning 52.7 percent of the possession in the match. That was due to winning the battles in midfield with a 52.2 percent success rate in duels, a trend that is starting to develop as Reno won the duels battle in its match this past Saturday against OKC Energy FC as the club's undefeated streak reached three games.
2. Coming into this match the Toros had scored in every match this season but in this match the hosts struggled to put chances on target. RGVFC finished the match with a shooting accuracy of 18.2 percent, well below the average of 49.15 percent that they had established previously this season that was key to the club's scoring run.
3. Rio Grande Valley put in an all-around strong defensive performance managing a tackle success rate of 84.2 percent, well above its season average of 68.79 percent, as the Toros continued to solidify its defensive presence. With back-to-back shutouts, Head Coach Gerson Echeverry's side is starting to come into its own after a tough start to the season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Nico Corti, Rio Grande Valley FC – Managing five saves, three of them denying clear goal scoring opportunities, Corti was a brick wall in the RGVFC net to keep it scoreless.
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Fresno FC – May 9, 10 p.m. ET, Chukchansi Park
Reno 1868 FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – May 5, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field