PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, October 7) – Phoenix Rising FC (12-9-12) dropped its first match since August 19, losing 2-1 to New Mexico United at 38th St./Washington tonight.
Dariusz Formella scored late to cut the deficit in half for Phoenix but Rising could not find a second to equalize. The team travels to Colorado Springs next Saturday, October 14 (5 p.m.), to close out the regular season. Rising will learn its playoff destination following that match.
Tonight, Rising held a 55-45 edge in possession through the 28th minute when Jose Andres Hernandez saw the run of Darnell King and played a perfect ball over the top. King chested the ball down and ran at goal before attempting to pick out a late runner with a central pass, but the try was intercepted.
Four minutes later, Phoenix was threatening again when Panos Armenakas won a duel in midfield and sped up the field. Armenakas’ first pass attempt was blocked back to his feet but his second put Danny Trejo in alone on goal against Andrew Thomas. Trejo tried to beat the goalkeeper, low to his right side but Thomas got down to slap the chance away.
New Mexico fired back in the 36th minute when Harry Swartz won the ball with his back to goal, just outside the area. Swartz popped the ball to his left for Sergio Rivas to hit with his first touch. The low strike had Phoenix’s Rocco Rios Novo beat but whistled inches wide of the post to the goalkeeper’s left side.
New Mexico took a 1-0 lead just after halftime when an errant back pass was intercepted by Amando Moreno. United’s No. 10 latched onto the ball, ran at goal and chipped a shot over the right arm of Novo to give the visitors the lead.
United’s Greg Hurst drew a penalty kick for New Mexico in the 83rd minute. The spot kick was converted by Justin Portillo, who pinged his shot off the inside of the post to make it 2-0.
Trejo won the ball back for Rising in midfield and combined with Carlos Harvey to set up Phoenix’s late goal. The final pass came from Harvey, who centered a ball for Trejo, but the forward let the ball run on to Formella, who crushed the ball into the back of the net to make the final score, 2-1.
NM – Amando Moreno 52
NM – Justin Portillo (PK) 83
PHX – Dariusz Formella (Carlos Harvey) 89
PHX – Rocco Rios Novo (caution) 53
NM – Will Seymore (caution) 53
PHX – Danny Trejo (caution) 59
NM – Harry Swartz (caution) 66
NM – Justin Portillo (caution) 70
NM – Amando Moreno (caution) 74
PHX – John Stenberg (caution) 79
PHX – Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution) 82
NM – Sam Hamilton (caution) 90+5
NM – Andy Thomas (caution) 90+8
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, John Stenberg, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Mo Traore, Jose Andres Hernandez, Renzo Zambrano (Carlos Harvey 61), Dariusz Formella, Panos Armenakas (Emil Cuello 71), Darnell King (Eddie Munjoma 61), Manuel Arteaga, Danny Trejo.
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Fede Varela, Daniel Krutzen, Uzo.
New Mexico United – Andrew Thomas, Josh Suggs, Sergio Rivas, Amando Moreno (Santi Moar 85), Arturo Astorga, Will Seymore, Greg Hurst (Daniel Bruce 90+2), Zico Bailey (Austin Yearwood 85), Kalen Ryden, Harry Swartz (Sam Hamilton 71), Justin Portillo.
Substitutes Not Used: Ford Parker, Jacobo Reyes, Kyle Colonna.