Phoenix Falls for the First Time at Home, 3-2, to San Diego
PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, September 19) - Phoenix Rising nearly came back from a late, two-goal deficit, but eventually lost for the first time this season at Casino Arizona Field, 3-2, to San Diego Loyal.
Despite the loss, Phoenix (8-3-2) remains in first place of Group B, four points ahead of Loyal (6-4-4) with a game in hand. Rising's two goals both came from Junior Flemmings, who extended his lead in the Golden Boot race to four. Phoenix has three games remaining, two of which will be played at Casino Arizona Field. The third, a rematch away against San Diego, is set for Wednesday, September 30.
Rubio Ruben gave San Diego a 1-0 lead in just the third minute of the match when Jack Metcalf fed him a ball on the right side of the area. Rubio right to his right side and struck a low shot to the far corner of the goal. The shot was just out of the reach of Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin and Rising was forced to battle back from a goal down at home for just the second time this season.
Rubio broke free from his marker on the right side in the 12th minute and darted towards goal. Running to his right side, Rubio once again struck a low shot past Lubin and into the far side-netting to make it a 2-0 deficit.
Phoenix battled back in the 23rd minute, when Rufat Dadashov and Flemmings fought through a series of tackles on Rising's left flank to free teammate Santi Moar, who was all alone against Loyal goalkeeper Jon Kempin at the back post. Moar took a touch and fired a hard shot towards goal but Kempin charged off his line to make an incredible one-handed save to preserve the two-goal lead.
Moar beat his defender on Rising's right flank in the 39th minute and got off a left-footed cross. The pass was won by Dadashov in the area, but Phoenix's No. 9 couldn't get his header to stay under the bar after fighting off a hard challenge from a San Diego defender.
Moar did the leg work again in the 41st minute, setting up Flemmings by making a deep run, near the end line on the left side. Moar sent a pass backwards to the Golden Boot leader and, finally having time and space, Flemmings picked out the inside of the far post to the left of Kempin to make it 2-1.
But, just before the halftime whistle, Ruben completed his hat-trick with a run that began on the right flank. Dripping with confidence, Ruben slipped between two defenders, cut inside and took a shot that deflected around Lubin to make it 3-1 at the half.
After having a goal called back in the 85th minute, Rising continued to fight back and pulled within one in the 89th minute, when a short corner played to Moar was sent into the area. There, Flemmings rose above a crowd of defenders to redirect a header past the goalkeeper to make it, 3-2.
Rising is back at Casino Arizona Field next Saturday, September 26, vs. Orange County SC. That game, presented by Arizona Federal Credit Union, will kick off at 7:30 p.m.
SD - Rubio Ruben (Jack Metcalf) 3
SD - Rubio Ruben (Alejandro Guido) 12
PHX - Junior Flemmings (Santi Moar) 41
SD - Rubio Ruben (Miguel Berry) 45+4
PHX - Junior Flemmings (Santi Moar) 89
Phoenix - Zac Lubin, Darnell King, AJ Cochran (Joey Calistri 77), Joey Farrell (Damion Lowe 77), Corey Whelan, Sam Stanton (Jack Barmby 63), Kevon Lambert, Jon Bakero (Solomon Asante 62), Junior Flemmings, Rufat Dadashov, Santi Moar.
Substitutes not used: Eric Dick, Jordan Schweitzer, Jose Aguinaga.
San Diego Loyal - Jon Kempin (Jake Fenlason 82), Tarek Morad, Grant Stoneman, Elijah Martin (Emrah Klimenta 46), Jack Metcalf, Charlie Adams, Collin Martin, Morgan Hackworth, Alejandro Guido (Tumi Moshobane 46), Rubio Ruben (Carlos Alvarez 83), Miguel Berry (Ben Spencer 87).
Substitutes not used: Beverly Makangila, Francis Atuahene.
SD - Grant Stoneman (caution) 32
SD - Emrah Klimenta (caution) 54
SD - Tumi Moshobane (caution) 63
SD - Jack Metcalf (caution) 72
SD - Collin Martin (caution) 87
PHX - Jack Barmby (caution) 90+2
SD - Grant Stoneman (caution) 90+7
REF: Farhad Dadkho
AR1: Mark Novosel
AR2: Melissa Beck
4TH: Isaiah Vlad
Weather: Clear, 95
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