PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, May 13) – Phoenix Rising FC (3-2-4) downed Hartford Athletic, 3-1, tonight at 38th St/Washington thanks to goals from Danny Trejo, Carlos Harvey and Manuel Arteaga.
The team travels to Orange County next Saturday before returning for $1 Beer Night on Friday, May 26.
Tonight, Rising got off to a great start with Trejo and Eddie Munjoma combining in the first two minutes to earn a free kick opportunity from just outside the box. Daniel Krutzen stepped up to take the free kick, smashing a left-footed attempt around the wall but Hartford goalkeeper Richard Sanchez was alert, making a diving save to his right side to keep the match scoreless early.
Three minutes later Rising would find the back of the net when Arteaga flicked a header over Hartford’s back line. Trejo timed the pass perfectly and was in-alone on goal against Sanchez. Nearing the six-yard box Trejo looked as if he took too big of a touch, causing Sanchez to fly off his line, but Trejo found another gear. The forward accelerated to win the ball, poking a slow, rolling shot over the goal line before an Athletic defender could recover to keep it out of the net.
Kevon Lambert played a beautiful cross to the back post for Federico Varela in the 37th minute. Phoenix’s No. 10 came free in the middle of the area and hit a sharp header on goal but Sanchez made his second outstanding save of the half, diving to his left side and slapping the attempt over the bar to keep the score, 1-0.
Just before the half Antoine Hoppenot drew a foul in the area when he pushed the ball through the legs of Munjoma and sped towards goal. Munjoma challenged for the ball and Hoppenot went to ground, forcing referee Jonathan Bilinski to point to the spot. Kyle Edwards stepped up to take the penalty for Hartford, hitting a low shot off the inside of the post to make it 1-1 at halftime.
Lambert took it upon himself at the beginning of the second half, dribbling from his own half unchallenged to the top of the opponent’s box, before firing a right-footed blast. The blast caught a piece of a Hartford defender and went out for a corner, in which Alejandro Fuenmayor put a shot off the top corner of the woodwork.
Harvey gave Phoenix its second lead of the match in the 73rd minute, following a Hartford corner kick. The Rising defense cleared the corner away from danger to an Athletic defender, who corralled the loose ball before trying to dribble. Then, the last man back on defense for Hartford lost his footing, giving the ball to Harvey on a 80-yard breakaway. Harvey finally arrived at the top of the area after what seemed like minutes, slipping a low shot between the legs of a stranded Sanchez to give Rising a 2-1 lead.
Rising took a 3-1 lead in the 81st minute when Renzo Zambrano crossed in a ball from the right side of the area to the back post. Trejo was there to meet the pass, knocking it back into the center of the area just before it crossed the endline. Arteaga stepped in front of Sanchez and a Hartford defender to win the ball and sneak a short deflection over the goal line to make it a 3-1 final.
PHX – Danny Trejo (Manuel Arteaga) 5
HA – Kyle Edwards (PK) 44
PHX – Carlos Harvey 73
PHX – Manuel Arteaga (Danny Trejo) 81
HA – Niall Logue (caution) 2
PHX – Baboucarr Njie (caution) 10
HA – Matt Sheldon (caution) 17
HA – Conor McGlynn (caution) 19
HA – Tristin Hodge (caution) 61
PHX – Renzo Zambrano (caution) 70
HA – Danny Barrera (caution) 80
PHX – Kevon Lambert (caution) 84
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Daniel Krutzen, Kevon Lambert, Eddie Munjoma, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Danny Trejo (Liam Mullins 90+1), Renzo Zambrano, Carlos Harvey, Manuel Arteaga, Fede Varela (Jose Andres Hernandez 67), Baboucarr Njie (Darnell King 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Carlos Anguiano, Jack Ramirez, Mohamad Traore.
Hartford Athletic – Richard Sanchez, Kaveh Rad (Robin Lapert 15), Tristin Hodge, Prince Saydee, Juan Pablo Torres, Matt Sheldon, Kyle Edwards, Conor McGlynn, Antoine Hoppenot, Niall Logue, Andre Lewis (Danny Barrera 66).
Substitutes Not Used: Tulu, Jeciel Cedeno, Joe Rice, Ash Apollon, Luke Merrill.