SAN DIEGO, California (Saturday, October 22) – Phoenix Rising FC advanced with a 4-3 win in overtime vs. San Diego tonight at Torero Stadium, setting up a Conference Semifinal date in Orange County on Saturday, October 28 (7 p.m.).
Danny Trejo, Panos Armenakas and Dariusz Formella (x2) found the back of the net for Rising tonight after San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Joe Corona took control of the ball on Phoenix’s right side. Corona sprinted down the flank before playing a perfect, curling ball around a Rising defender and into the feet of Ronaldo Damus, who poked a shot between goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo and the post.
Rising answered in the 17th minute when Formella chipped a ball over the top for Trejo, who was making a run down the left side of the area. Trejo brought down the ball and attempted to put a shot on goal, but a Loyal SC defender pulled him down, forcing referee Elvis Osmanovic to point to the spot. Armenakas opted to take the kick, sending Koke Vegas the wrong direction, before knocking an easy pass to goalkeeper’s right side to make it 1-1.
Loyal SC made it a 2-1 game in the 25th minute when a turnover near midfield led to a second chance for Damus. The striker sprinted up field and put a second past Rios Novo to give the home side its second lead of the evening.
Phoenix nearly equalized in the 31st minute when Armenakas beat his man at the top of the box and got off a shot that beat Vegas but caught that inside of the post. The rebound skipped to the feet of Formella on the left side of the area, but the striker could not put the second attempt on frame.
Trejo made it 2-2 just before halftime when Carlos Harvey lofted a long pass over the top of San Diego’s back line. Trejo battled center back Grant Stoneman for the 50/50 ball at the top of the box while Vegas drifted off his line and into the play to contest for the ball. Instead of challenging for the ball, Trejo opted to shoot with his first touch, sending a slow rolling ball between the legs of the goalkeeper. The ball trickled over the goal line to knot the match just before halftime.
Rising started the second half on the front foot, earning a set piece opportunity from 40 yards out that resulted in a goal-scoring chance for John Stenberg. The center back hit a right-footed chance from close range, but Vegas was equal to the task, preserving the 2-2 scoreline.
Six minutes into the half, Phoenix grabbed its first lead. Armenakas freed Darnell King down Rising’s right side. The captain ran at the end line before centering a pass for Formella, who didn’t miss this time, knocking a sharp pass between Vegas and the near post to make it 3-2.
Phoenix held San Diego scoreless for the entire second half until Osmanovic awarded a penalty for San Diego in the seventh minute of stoppage time. Damus stepped up to take the kick, slipping a shot just under the hand of Rios Novo to make it a 3-3 match at the end of regulation.
Rising bunkered in for the first half of stoppage time, then came out and went for the win. Finally, in the 119th minute Manuel Arteaga received a pass in the center of the pitch, turned and sent a pass to the right side of the area for Formella. The striker cut back, took a left-footed shot that deflected off a defender’s back and settled into the far side netting to make it a 4-3 final.
SD – Ronaldo Damus (Joe Corona) 4
PHX – Panos Armenakas (PK) 19
SD – Ronaldo Damus 25
PHX –Danny Trejo (Carlos Harvey) 42
PHX – Dariusz Formella (Darnell King) 51
SD – Ronaldo Damus (PK) 90+7
PHX – Dariusz Formella (Manual Arteaga) 119
SD – Charlie Adams (caution) 45+2
PHX – Carlos Harvey (caution) 57
PHX – Manuel Arteaga (caution) 87
PHX – Alejandro Fuenmayor (caution) 97
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, John Stenberg, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Mo Traore (Emil Cuello 103), Jose Andres Hernandez (Renzo Zambrano 73), Carlos Harvey (Daniel Krutzen 90+2), Eddie Munjoma, Panos Armenakas (Manuel Arteaga 84), Darnell King (Uzo 73), Danny Trejo (Erickson Gallardo 106).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky.
San Diego Loyal SC – Koke Vegas, Guzmán, Grant Stoneman (Tumi Moshobane 63), Riley, Pérez, Blake Bodily, Joe Corona (Nick Moon 63), Charlie Adams (Alejandro Guido 63), Collin Martin, Conway, Ronaldo Damus.
Substitutes Not Used: Ferree, Chilaka, Gnaulati, Morgan Hackworth.