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Rising Advance to Conference Semifinals with 1-0 Win vs. Republic

October 11, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Phoenix Rising FC News Release

PHOENIX, Arizona - Phoenix Rising FC advanced to the conference semifinals with a 1-0 extra time victory tonight at Casino Arizona Field thanks to a goal by captain Solomon Asante in the 114th minute.

The latest game-winning goal in club history was set up by Santi Moar, who did the heavy lifting for Asante after receiving the pass on the left side. Moar cut in and around two Republic defenders before firing a shot towards the middle of the goal. In the scrum in front of goal, the ball deflected off Asante, sending Sacramento goalkeeper Rafael Diaz the wrong way and the ball over the goal line.

Rising now faces Reno 1868 away next Saturday, October 17, at 6 p.m. Should Phoenix win that match, the club would host both the conference final and league final based on points earned during the regular season.

Rising began the match on the attack. After winning the ball back near midfield, they quickly pushed the ball forward into Sacramento's defensive third of the pitch. There, Asante tried to thread a pass to Moar but the left wing was fouled on the play, to hand Phoenix a free kick opportunity just outside the area. Asante stepped to the free kick and cracked a hard shot, high to the near post that rattled off the woodwork before skipping over the end line for a goal kick.

Zac Lubin made his best save of the season for Rising in the 26th minute after Sacramento worked the ball up the right flank and centered a pass into the middle of the area. A group of players came together to challenge for the ball in the box but the pass skipped through the crowd to a wide-open Dariusz Formella. Sacramento's leading goal scorer tried to beat Lubin, low to the left side, but the goalkeeper made an instant kick-save with his left foot to parry the ball off the goal line and preserve the shutout.

Coming out of the locker room following halftime, Phoenix controlled the match and held a 68-32 edge in possession through the 70th minute of the match, but could not break down the back line of Sacramento.

Asante picked off a pass in Rising's defensive third and pushed the ball forward to Sam Stanton in the 87th minute. Stanton ran at the back line before returning the ball to Asante near the top of the box. The 2019 league MVP beat his man with an inside-out move but was pulled down by the defender to earn a free kick in a dangerous area and the fourth caution for Republic. Nothing came of the chance for Rising but the home side continued to press in search of a game-winning goal, outshooting the visitors 14-8 at the end of regulation.

Scoring Summary:

PHX - Solomon Asante (Santi Moar) 114

Lineups:

Phoenix Rising FC - Zac Lubin, Darnell King, Joey Farrell, AJ Cochran, Corey Whelan, Kevon Lambert, Jon Bakero (Jose Aguinaga 81), Sam Stanton (Jordan Schweitzer 105), Santi Moar (Joey Calistri 116), Rufat Dadashov (Damion Lowe 118), Solomon Asante (Lagos Kunga 120).

Substitutes not used: Eric Dick, Owusu-Ansah Kontoh.

Sacramento Republic FC - Rafael Diaz, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Dekel Keinan, Shannon Gomez (Matthew Mahoney 56), Jordan McCrary, Rodrigo Lopez (Drew Skundrich 56), Jaime Villarreal, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (Frank Lopez 116), Villyan Bijev, Dariusz Formella, Kharlton Belmar (Cameron Iwasa 116).

Substitutes not used: Hayden Sargis, Rafael Jauregio, Brady Scott.

Misconduct Summary:

SR - Dariusz Formella (caution) 12

PHX - Rufat Dadashov (caution) 44

SR - Rodrigo Lopez (caution) 45

SR - Tomas Hilliard-Arce (caution) 74

SR - Jordan McCrary (caution) 87

SR - Dekel Keinan (caution) 90+1

PHX - Kevon Lambert (caution) 109

Referees:

REF: Elvis Osmanovic

AR1: Christian Lara

AR2: Stephen McGonagle

4TH: Isaiah Vlad

Weather: Clear, 86


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