EL PASO, Texas (Saturday, September 23) – Phoenix Rising FC (12-8-11) forward Dariusz Formella came off the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw and push the team’s unbeaten streak to seven games tonight at Southwest University Park.
Rising is back in action at 38th St/Washington next Saturday, Sept. 30 (7:30 p.m.). Tickets for that match are available here.
Tonight, the teams traded chances in the opening 25 minutes of the match, with Rising holding a distinct 68-32 edge in possession.
Alejandro Fuenmayor got forward on the right flank in the 31st minute and lobbed a cross to the back post for Manuel Arteaga. The Phoenix forward rose above the pack to win the header, nodding a shot that skipped just wide of the post.
Moments later, El Paso was unlucky not to go ahead at the opposite end of the pitch, when Aaron Gomez redirected a pass into the box from Petar Petrovic. Gomez’s shot ricocheted off the near post, rolled along the goal line behind Phoenix goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo and nicked the far post, before being cleared away from danger.
Rios Novo finished the first half with his clean sheet intact but was forced to make four saves in the opening 45 minutes.
Panos Armenakas found Arteaga in-behind El Paso’s back line in the 55th minute. Arteaga took a touch and fired a shot towards goal but El Paso goalkeeper Benny Diaz stood his ground and made a save with his right shoulder.
Quick in transition once again, El Paso made a run down the left flank though familiar faces. Petrovic walked down the left side of Rising’s box and fired a hard pass into the feet of Gomez. This time, the bar did not save Rising. Gomez one-timed a short pass into the back of the net from five yards out to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Jose Andres Hernandez sent a beautiful ball into the box in the 77th minute. The pass curled perfectly onto the head of substitute Emil Cuello but the Argentine was unable to keep his header on frame.
Formella pulled Rising’s unbeaten streak out of the depths in the first minute of stoppage time when Danny Trejo tapped a short pass to Harvey, who did the same to get the ball to Formella. The forward struck a shot with his first touch, and it was perfect. The right-footed curler avoided Diaz and kissed the inside of the back post to make the final, 1-1.
EP – Aaron Gomez (Petar Petrovic) 56
PHX – Dariusz Formella (Carlos Harvey) 90+1
EP – Denys Kostyshyn (caution) 40
PHX – Mo Traore (caution) 69
EP – Erik McCue (caution) 73
EP – Aaron Gomez (caution) 80
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Mo Traore, Alejandro Fuenmayor (Daniel Krutzen 46), John Stenberg, Eddie Munjoma (Dariusz Formella 65), Darnell King (Erickson Gallardo 64), Jose Andres Hernandez, Carlos Harvey, Panos Armenakas, Danny Trejo, Manuel Arteaga (Emil Cuello 76).
El Paso Locomotive FC – Benny Díaz, Marc Navarro, Noah Dollenmayer, Petar Petrovic (Nick Hinds 80), Erik McCue, Eric Calvillo, Denys Kostyshyn (Chapa Herrera 67), Liam Rose, Miles Lyons, Aaron Gómez (Ricardo Zacarias 80), Petur Knundsen (Emmanuel Sonupe 66).
Substitutes Not Used: Javier Garcia, Christopher Garcia, Jose Carrillo.
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Fede Varela, Henry Uzochukwu.