NEW YORK – Haiti international Christiano François netted in either half as Reno 1868 FC posted their second win in three outings in a 4-1 thrashing of winless Portland Timbers in the United Soccer League at mid-week on July 31.
Playing away at Providence Park in Portland, the 27-year-old forward scored in the 40th minute to hand the visitors a slim 1-0 lead at half-time before converting a late penalty to help put the wrap on a convincing win.
Reno top Group A with six points while Portland lie rock bottom following defeats in their three fixtures.
The visitors controlled the game and were rewarded in the 40th minute when the fleet-footed Francois collected a pass on the half-way line out wide on the left, raced down the flank before cutting inside, beating marker Gerardo Duran and burying a superb right-footed volley into the upper right hand corner from 17 yards out.
Sergio Rivas then doubled the lead seven minutes after half-time with a low 20-yard shot after Timbers failed to clear a right-sided corner but Duran pulled one back for the hosts when he headed in Aedan Stanley’s cross in the 73rd minute.
However, Francois eased the pressure when he got free down the left side to put in a cross which Portland again failed to clear, leaving Foster Langsdorf to scramble home a scrappy goal in the 82nd.
Portland suffered more misfortune a minute later when Max Ornstil received his second yellow for an elbow to Langsdorf and was sent off, and Francois collected his second goal late on when Langsdorf was tripped in the box and the winger stepped up to convert from the spot.
Francois’s performance afterwards attracted praise from his head coach Ian Russell.
““He’s a gamer … every time he steps on the pitch he’s electric and very dangerous,”Russell said. “He works hard offensively, but defensively as well.”
At the Fifth Third Bank Stadium near near Kennesaw, Georgia, Jamaican Romario William scored deep in second half stoppage but failed to prevent his Miami FC from a 4-3 defeat to Atlanta United 2.
Scores were locked 1-1 at half-time after Amadou Diop cancelled out Miami FC’s 13th minute opener through Mohamed Thiaw just four minutes before the break.
But the hosts outscored Miami in a competitive second half that was capped by Williams’ close range strike.