San Diego, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2020) – San Diego Loyal SC (SD Loyal) rallied late Saturday night but it was not enough in a 3-1 loss against visiting Reno 1868 FC at USD Torero Stadium.
Carlos Alvarez sent in a shot, sneaking it past Reno 1868 FC goalkeeper Ben Beaury for his first score with coach Landon Donovan’s team. But the midfielder’s goal was not enough against the team leading the Group A standings.
Reno 1868 FC took a 1-0 lead when Foster Langsdorf scores in the 25th minute off a rolling cross into the penalty area from Tucker Bone. The scoring play came after SD Loyal was threatening with fluid ball movement on Reno 1868 FC’s side of the pitch but instead its play was stopped with an offside call. Reno 1868 FC then took the ball through the left side of the field and Bone helped set up Langsdorf’s scoring play.
Reno 1868 FC (6-2-0, 18 points) used quick plays and counters that went through Coery Hertzog and Christiano Francois on the left side of the field. Fresno controlled possession in the first half and out-shot SD Loyal 21-3, forcing Austin Guerrero to make six saves early on in his debut with his hometown team. It continued through the later part of the half as SD Loyal could not get out of its own side of the field or find steady possession. Reno continued to fire as Guerrero made more saves against his former team.
Reno 1868 FC came in as one of the hottest teams in the league having won four out of its last five games. SD Loyal (3-4-2, 11 points) had not won a game since July 25.
Donovan’s team came out trying to create some chances and keep the ball some more early in the second half. It was able to create a real scoring chance when Collin Martin fired a shot to the right post but it was just wide off a Carlos Alvarez pass.
Reno 1868 FC continued to try and counter, it even got a shot that Guerrero had to slap away with one hand to make a save on a quick run. The Nevada team took advantage of a blocked SD Loyal shot that lead to a long pass by Reno 1868 FC. It left the ball rolling just outside the SD Loyal penalty box. Guerrero came out to clear the ball but Reno regained possession. Bone, who assisted on the visitor’s first goal, was quick to fire a volley into the SD Loyal net, catching Guerrero trying to make it back to his line.
SD Loyal answered that score with Alvarez’ shot past Beaury to cut the lead to 2-1 in the 66th minute. Alvarez took a ball near the middle of the penalty box, turned and fired a low-right-footed shot inside the right post.
Alvarez’ goal was SD Loyal’s first in nearly a month. It last scored a goal in the 65th minute of its July 25 match at home against Las Vegas Lights FC. It was also the last time SD Loyal won as it got a late goal from Irvin Parra, who was out Saturday night against Reno 1868 FC with an injury. Alvarez nearly scored again and tied the match in the 72nd minute but his shot went straight to Beaury.
Instead, it was Aidan Apodaca scoring again for Reno 1868 FC on a one-on-one run. Apodaca sent in a rolling shot across his body to the left as Guerrero, the SD Loyal goalkeeper, chased him down and tried to close his angle in the 85th minute. It didn’t work.
SD Loyal didn’t sit back before Apodaca’s goal. Beaury also saw a Francis Atuahene cross roll near the goal line but Jack Metcalf couldn’t get to it in the 75th minute. Second half sub Ashley Nazira also created a few chances his most dangerous, a blast that zipped just right of the right post. SD Loyal continued to push the ball up and tried to head into goal to no avail.
SD Loyal will now head north to face Orange County SC Aug. 29 at Championship Soccer Stadium.