PHOENIX (July 29, 2017) — Despite a strong performance over 90 minutes, a penalty kick was the difference in Phoenix Rising FC’s 1-0 loss to San Antonio FC.
With time dwindling and the game headed toward a scoreless draw, San Antonio forward Cesar Elizondo drew a penalty after colliding with collided with Rising FC goalkeeper Josh Cohen in the box.
The 5-foot-5 midfielder took his penalty calmly, sending Cohen diving to the right and slotting his kick down the middle of the goal to give San Antonio (11-1-7) their first victory since June 17.
“We have to accept when the referee gives a penalty so I don’t want to argue about it,” head coach Patrice Carteron said. “I’m really sad for the boys because I had the feeling it was our best game since I’ve been here. We (had) a great performance today. I think we deserved today at least a draw. If we keep working like this and if we keep progressing like this, I’m sure step by step we can have better results and have more points.”
Rising FC (6-7-4) had chances to equalize in the dying moments, as the club drew fouls two different times just outside the San Antonio box. In the 89th minute, forward Didier Drogba sent in a curling free kick effort that forced a save from San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. Minutes later, Drogba again tried to go for the game tying goal from another free
kick, but placed his shot narrowly wide of the post.
Rising FC opened the match on the front foot, as Drogba had a sternly hit shot saved by Restrepo in the 10th minute. Three minutes later, midfielder Chris Cortez, in his first game back from
a near two-month long knee injury, used a crisp step over dribble to free himself to deliver a pinpoint cross to Drogba, who connected on his header but was denied by Restrepo.
In the 69th minute, Cortez found space once more, ripping a shot goal-bound only to see it headed off the line by San Antonio defender Ben Newnam.
Alessandro Riggi saw his first game action since a May 13 knee injury and he didn’t take long to get into the action following his 73rd-minute substitution. While running with the ball just outside the visitors’ box, Riggi was brought down by San Antonio midfielder Kris Tyrpak in the 75th minute, sparking a heated scuffle between the two, and prompting the official to issue each a yellow card.
Phoenix Rising FC returns to the road on Saturday, August 5, to take on Los Angeles Galaxy II. The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and fans can head to the club’s official watch party at the Thirsty Lion in Tempe Marketplace.
Phoenix Rising FC returns to the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex on Saturday, August 26, to take on Sacramento Republic FC. The match will kick off at 8:00 p.m. Fans can purchase their tickets by heading to www.PHXRisingFC.com
Location: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex | Scottsdale, AZ
Date: July 29, 2017
Match: Phoenix Rising FC vs San Antonio FC
PHOENIX RISING FC 0-1 SAN ANTONIO FC
SA: 85’, 16-Rafa Castillo (PK)
SA: 27’, 21-Nikongho O’Ojong (yellow)
SA: 37’, 16-Rafael Castillo (yellow)
PHX: 49’, 14-Jason Johnson (yellow)
PHX: 50’ 5-Peter Ramage (yellow)
PHX: 75’ 17-Alessandro Riggi (yellow)
SA: 75’ 19-Kris Tyrpak (yellow)
PHX: 76’, 29-Shaun Wright-Phillips (yellow)
SA: 79’, 10-Cesar Elizondo (yellow)
PHX: 90+3’, 15-Stephen McCarthy (yellow)
PHX: 90+4’, 11-Didier Drogba (yellow)
PRFC Starting XI: 18-Josh Cohen; 19-Amadou Dia, 5-Peter Ramage, 33-Jordan Stewart, 15-Jordan Gibbons; 14-Jason Johnson, 4-Blair Gavin, 30-Eric Avila (66’, 8-Matt Watson), 29-Shaun Wright-Phillips, 7-Chris Cortez (73’, 17-Alessandro Riggi); 11-Didier Drogba ©
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Carl Woszczynski, 9-Omar Bravo, 3-Kody Wakasa, 13-Eder Arreola, 24-AJ Gray