Phoenix Rolls over Vegas, 5-1
PHOENIX - Phoenix Rising FC (8-2-2) improved to 6-0-0 at Casino Arizona Field tonight in front of 979 socially-distanced Season Ticket Members.
Rufat Dadashov (10) scored twice to pull within two goals of league leader Junior Flemmings (12). Rising now ranks first and second in the golden boot race.
Phoenix held a 59-41 edge in possession through the first 20 minutes of the match, earning three corners by pressing Las Vegas deep into its defensive third of the pitch. Las Vegas stayed in its defensive shell until Corey Whelan came forward from his right back position and got off a deadly cross in the 26th minute of the match. Dadashov redirected the cross on net but Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen got a hand to the shot to push it out for a corner kick.
On the ensuing corner, Kevon Lambert rose above the crowd to win the first ball, nodding a pass back across six-yard box. Phoenix's No. 9 was there to bury his ninth of the season by beating Olsen with a sharp header into the corner of the net to make it, 1-0.
Lights FC's best chance of the half came in the 44th minute when Seth Moses got the ball to Quincy Amarikwa. The MLS veteran turned to his outside and struck a hard shot on goal but Rising goalkeeper Zac Lubin was in position and made a solid punch-save to preserve the one-goal lead.
Immediately after, Rising went up 2-0, when Junior Flemmings unlocked Vegas' defense. The Golden Boot leader switched to provider and slipped a perfectly weighted pass in-behind the Lights FC back line. Santi Moar collected the pass and was in on goal with Dadashov to his left side with only the goalkeeper to beat. Moar did well to draw the attention of Olsen before knocking a pass into the path of Dadashov, who hit a first-touch shot past the goalkeeper for his second strike of the night.
Darnell King made a great defensive effort to win a pivotal throw-in for Rising in the 55th minute. King quickly grabbed the ball the tossed it to Dadashov to send Phoenix in on a odd-man rush. Dadashov dished a pass to Flemmings, who spun at the top of the box and fired a low shot to the back post that Olsen could not get a hand on, putting the home side up, 3-0.
Two-minutes later, Flemmings played a quick pass into Sam Stanton, who was making a run at the top left corner of the area. Stanton's first touch was brilliant. It put him past his defender and into space inside the area, where he fired another low shot past Olsen, and into the back of the net to make it 4-0, in the 57th minute.
Moar drew a foul in the box in the 70th minute and, wearing the captain's arm band due to Solomon Asante being out of the lineup, Jon Bakero stepped up to take the spot kick. Bakero beat Olsen low to his right side to make it 5-0 in the 72nd minute.
Las Vegas pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute when Grant Robinson found Bryan de la Fuente at the top of the box. De la Fuente turned and struck a low shot that curled just inside the front post for Lights FC's lone goal of the evening.
PHX - Rufat Dadashov (Kevon Lambert) 27
PHX - Rufat Dadashov (Santi Moar) 44
PHX - Junior Flemmings (Rufat Dadashov) 55
PHX - Sam Stanton (Junir Flemmings) 57
PHX - Jon Bakero (PK) 72
LV - Bryan de la Fuente (Grant Robinson) 82
Phoenix Rising FC - Zac Lubin, Darnell King, AJ Cochran, Joey Farrell, Corey Whelan, Jon Bakero (Jose Aguinaga 77), Kevon Lambert (Jordan Schweitzer 85), Sam Stanton (Jack Barmby 77), Junior Flemmings, Rufat Dadashov (Lagos Kunga 86), Santi Moar (Joey Calistri 90).
Substitutes not used: Eric Dick, Kyle Bjornethun.
Las Vegas Lights FC - Thomas Olsen, Jaiden Waggoner, Seth Moses, Javan Torre, Johnny Fenwick, Noah Billingsey, Jose Carrera Garcia (Grant Robinson 64), Junior Burgos, Quincy Amarikwa (Blake Frischknecht 64), Rashawn Dally, Raul Mendiola (Bryan de la Fuente 64).
Substitutes not used: Edward Delgado, Yamikani Chester, Junior Sandoval Lopez, Mobi Feur.
LV - Seth Moses (caution) 41
LV - Jonny Fenwick (caution) 74
PHX - Joey Farrell (caution) 90+2
REF: Isaiah Vlad
AR1: Eric Wood
AR2: Mark Novosel
4TH: Jordan Vlad
Weather: Clear, 86
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