PHOENIX, Arizona (Saturday, April 29) – Phoenix Rising FC (2-1-4) won 3-1 tonight at 38th St/Washington thanks to goals from Maryvale native Jose Andres Hernandez, Manuel Arteaga and Baboucarr Njie.
“Getting the win tonight was important,” said Rising Head Coach Juan Guerra after the match. “Now we keep pushing. After we win is when we push. We won’t relax. We now have a full week to recover mentally and physically after the week we had.”
Rising travels to Tampa Bay to face the Rowdies next Saturday, May 6 (4:30 p.m.) on 3TV before retuning to 38th St/Washington on Saturday, May 13. Tickets for that match are still available here or by calling 623-594-9606.
Tonight, Rising held a 68-32 advantage in possession through the 20th minute of the match. The home side’s best chance of the early part of the game came two minutes later when Carlos Anguiano picked up a loose ball at the top of Loudoun’s area. Anguiano ran at a defender before pushing the ball wide for Erickson Gallardo. The winger cut inside and tried to pick out the far post but missed by a few inches.
Fede Varela eventually took advantage of all the possession when he latched onto the ball and ran at the backline on the right side. At the top of the box, Varela chipped a pass for Manuel Arteaga. Rising’s No. 9 got to the ball on the end line, heading a pass back across the goal line for Maryvale native Jose Andres Hernandez to finish off. The midfielder pounded the ball into the back of the net from a few feet out to make it 1-0 in the 33rd minute.
“Honestly, I’m lost for words,” said Hernandez after the match. “I have a lot of pride and joy about scoring my first goal for this club. This is the first time I’ve won a match in Phoenix, my hometown, in my professional career.”
Hernandez returned the favor three minutes later. After winning the ball back deep in Loudoun’s defensive third of the field, Hernandez quickly got the ball to the feet of Arteaga, who turned and beat United’s goalkeeper Higo Fauroux low to his right side to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute.
Loudoun pulled a goal back in stoppage time of the first half, when a free kick from United’s left flank was played to the back post. There, the ball wedged between two players battling to win the header and fell to the feet of Loudoun’s Yanis Leerman, who cracked a low shot through a crowd of players. The shot wasn’t visible to Phoenix goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo and it slipped underneath his late kick-save attempt to make it 2-1 at halftime.
Rising held Loudoun scoreless in the second half and Njie made it a 3-1 final when he picked off a pass, danced around a defender and the goalkeeper and calmly deposited the ball in the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
PHX – Jose Andres Hernandez (Manuel Arteaga) 33
PHX – Manuel Arteaga (Jose Andres Hernandez) 36
LU – Yanis Leerman 45+1
PHX – Baboucarr Njie 90+1
PHX – Kevon Lambert (caution) 44
PHX – Jackson Conway (caution) 89
PHX – Baboucarr Njie (caution) 90+2
LU – Thomas Williamson (caution) 90+3
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Daniel Krutzen, Kevon Lambert, Mo Traore, Henry Uzochukwu (Eddie Munjoma 64), Jose Andres Hernandez (Alejandro Fuenmayor 74), Erickson Gallardo (Baboucarr Njie 64), Renzo Zambrano, Carlos Anguiano, Manuel Arteaga (Jackson Conway 81), Fede Varela (Danny Trejo 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Darnell King.
Loudoun United – Higo Fauroux, Laukoa Santos, Gaoussou Samake, Yanis Leerman, Bryce Washington, Juan Ramírez (Aidan Rocha 46), Panos Armenakas (Abdoul Zanne 77), Landry (Jeremy Garay 77), Kalil Elmedkhar, Wesley Leggett (Tommy Williamson 54), Zach Ryan.
Substitutes Not Used: Dane Jacomen, Daniel Chica, Abdoul Koanda.