Reno’s Greater Nevada Field saw two kinds of torrential downpours on May 16. The day started with one of the natural variety as clouds opened up and dumped a large amount of rain. After the match started, Reno 1868 FC rained down soccer balls on the Portland Under-23s net in a 7-3 victory in the Second Round of this year’s Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Weather delayed the start of the match for 15 minutes. Once the match got started, both teams looked slow in the beginning, neither team able to dictate their will on the other. Things changed in the 30th minute when a Rey Ortiz free kick was deflected by Reno goalkeeper Kyle Ihn before Ryo Shimazaki finished it to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Ortiz continued his set piece mastery 10 minutes later when his corner kick found the head of Wouter Verstraaten, who doubled the Portland lead to 2-0.
First half stoppage time saw a key moment of the match. Reno’s Sam Gleadle put a cross into the box where Jerry Van Ewijk place a shot into a low corner to pull back a goal and cut the halftime deficit to 2-1.
Van Ewijk equalized with his second of the night just after the break to make the score 2-2. Portland would retake the lead briefly via an own goal from Dembakwi Yomba in the 58th minute. After that, however, it would be all Reno.
The home side kept finding space and exploited the Portland backline in the second half, allowing Reno to score seemingly at will. Danny Musovski picked up a brace, scoring in the 68th and 72nd minutes, while Van Ewijk completed his hat trick in the 81st. Lindo Mfeka (85’) and Christian Thierjung (90’) added late scores to complete the rout.
With the victory, Reno joins Las Vegas Lights FC (who won later on that evening) to become the first two Nevada-based clubs in the Modern Era (1995-present) to win a US Open Cup match. Reno, along with amateur side Anahuac FC, advanced last year via penalty kicks, but those are officially listed as draws.
Reno move on to the Third Round where they will host their rival, Sacramento Republic FC on May 23.