Reno 1868 FC defense contains international superstar Didier Drogba
Reno, Nev. —
A defensive battle between two of the top clubs in the USL’s Western Conference ended in a tie on Friday at Greater Nevada Field.
Reno 1868 FC drew with Phoenix Rising FC 0-0 in front of a record crowd of 7,092 on a warm June night.
The clean sheet was goalkeeper Matt Bersano’s fifth clean sheet this season as he helped Reno 1868 FC remain unbeaten at Greater Nevada Field since the home opener.
Despite controlling most of the match (54 percent possession), Reno 1868 FC could not find the back of the net even with six shots on target.
A majority of Reno’s chances came in the first half. Reno worked the ball along the near sideline to defender Brent Richards, who finished the night with two shots on target.
Reno midfielder Darwin Espinal perhaps had the shot of the night from outside the box where his screamer was somehow saved by Phoenix Rising FC keeper Josh Cohen, who finished with six saves.
One of those saves included a stop on Dane Kelly’s penalty kick in the 34th minute.
Reno’s chances continued into the second half with forward Brian Brown nearly converting as time ticked down in the match.
Perhaps the story of the night was Reno holding three international world class players (Omar Bravo, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Didier Drogba) at bay.
Reno held Drogba, at one point a Top 10 player in the world, to one shot on target the entire night.
Reno 1868 FC will have a quick turnaround as it hosts LA Galaxy II on Monday at 7:30 p.m. The match will feature post-match fireworks.