SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Saturday, April 22) – Phoenix Rising FC (1-1-4) earned a point on the road in a 1-1 with the defending USL Champions despite playing a man down for the final 30 minutes of the match tonight at Toyota Field.
Danny Trejo scored the lone goal for Phoenix, which is back at 38th St/Washington this Saturday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.) vs. Loudoun United. Join Rising to celebrate Superhero Night, including a police vs. firefighter match pregame (6 p.m.). Tickets for that match are still available here or by calling 623-594-9606.
Tonight, Rocco Rios Novo was called upon early and answered in the seventh minute, getting down to his left side to make a diving save on Nikolaj Hansen.
Rising weathered the storm, fighting off pressure from San Antonio for the majority of the first half, but despite conceding four shots, Phoenix’s back line did not allow another shot on goal until stoppage time of the first half.
Rising gained its bearings and pushed the ball wide to the right in the 44th minute. There, Henry “Uzo” Uzochukwu went by his man and centered a ball at the top of the box. Eddie Munjoma took the pass and slipped the ball to his left for Danny Trejo. Looking for his third goal of the season, Trejo took a shot with his first touch, but San Antonio goalkeeper Jordan Farr made a diving save, low to his right to keep the match tied, 0-0, heading into halftime.
Phoenix came out of halftime a different team, creating two chances and capitalizing on the second in the 49th minute. Uzo set up the goal, running at his defender and crossing a low ball into the area for Trejo. The forward feinted inside before letting the ball roll towards the outside and striking a low shot just inside the far post to make it 1-0.
San Antonio answered in the 51st minute, knocking the ball around until Jacori Hayes had a great look from the top of the area. Hayes tried to beat Novo high, but the goalkeeper leapt backwards and pushed the chance over the bar.
Referee Sergii Demianchuk awarded San Antonio a penalty kick after Cristian Parano went to ground in the left side of the area in the 56th minute. Demianchuk also showed Harvey his second caution of the match, forcing Rising to play down a man for the remaining 30 minutes of play. Parano opted to take the penalty sneaking a shot down the middle, just behind Novo, to make it 1-1.
San Antonio created one chance immediately following the red card, but Novo was there to make a second diving save and preserve the tie. Phoenix Head Coach Juan Guerra was then able to make some tactical adjustments and limit the home team for the remainder of the match.
PHX – Danny Trejo (Uzo) 49
SA – Cristian Parano (PK) 59
PHX – Carlos Harvey (caution) 20
PHX – Carlos Harvey (caution) 56
PHX – Carlos Harvey (ejection) 56
PHX – Eddie Munjoma (caution) 76
SA – Shannon Gomez (caution) 85
PHX – Renzo Zambrano (caution) 90+5
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Kevon Lambert, Alejandro Fuenmayor Mo Traore, Henry Uzochukwu, Eddie Munjoma, Carlos Harvey, Renzo Zambrano, Manuel Arteaga (Jackson Conway 90), Fede Varela (Baboucarr Njie 68), Danny Trejo (Jose Andres Hernandez 60).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Carlos Anguiano, Darnell King, Erickson Gallardo.
San Antonio FC – Jordan Farr, Connor Maloney, Fabien Garcia, Lamar Batista, Shannon Gomez, Isiah Parker, Jacori Hayes (Kimarni Smith 62), Cristian Parano (David Loera 70), Niko Bailone (Erick Hurtado 62).
Substitutes Not Used: Carlos Mercado, Cartier Manley, Zico Bailey.