PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (Saturday, June 3) – Phoenix Rising FC (4-4-4) fell, 1-0, tonight at Highmark Stadium. Rising returns to 38th St/Washington for its annual Pride Night celebration next Saturday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for that game are available here.
Tonight, the Riverhounds took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute after a foul was whistled near the corner flag on Pittsburgh’s left flank. The cross by Kenardo Forbes was sent into center of the area, where Arturo Ordonez beat his marker to the ball and headed a shot past Rising goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo from close range.
Phoenix fired back immediately, earning a free kick just outside the box in the 25th minute. Daniel Krutzen stepped up to take the kick, whistling a left-footed blast inches wide of the near post.
Rising did hold a 58-42 advantage in possession in the 30th minute of the match and Carlos Harvey nearly unlocked Pittsburgh’s back line in the 39th minute. The midfielder gained possession 40 yards from goal and played a chip over the top for Manuel Arteaga. The forward caught up to the pass in open space and tried to redirect a header over Riverhounds’ goalkeeper Jahmali Waite. Arteaga’s header was on target, but Waite recovered and caught up to the looping shot just before it crossed the goal line.
Rising created a second free kick opportunity in the 43rd minute when a combination of passes led to a chance for Renzo Zambrano, but just as the midfielder cut around a defender, he was chopped down. Just outside the area, Krutzen had his second go at goal of the evening, but Pittsburgh’s wall absorbed the shot and the ball was cleared away from danger.
Eddie Munjoma nearly made it a 1-1 game at the start of the second half. The midfielder stepped in front of his marker to bring down a line-drive cross from Krutzen and was in on goal against Waite. Speeding towards goal, Munjoma struck the ball on the volley, but the goalkeeper got a desperate hand on the ball at the last second to preserve the 1-0 scoreline.
Rising produced another dangerous set piece chance in the 61st minute. The initial shot was once again blocked by the wall, but Krutzen knocked the rebound back into the area. Kevon Lambert beat the goalkeeper to the header and sent a high shot towards the back post, but a Riverhounds defender recovered in time to save the ball off the goal line.
Munjoma nearly picked out the far corner of the net in the 70th minute, only to have Waite slap it away, this time with his left hand. The play started with buildup down Rising’s right side, led by substitute Fede Varela.
PIT – Arturo Ordonez (Kenardo Forbes) 22
PIT – Mike Deshields (caution) 43
PIT – Arturo Ordonez (caution) 63
PIT – Danny Griffin (caution) 73
Phoenix Rising FC – Rocco Rios Novo, Daniel Krutzen, Kevon Lambert, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Darnell King (Erickson Gallardo 66) Danny Trejo, Renzo Zambrano, Carlos Harvey, Manuel Arteaga (Panos Armenakas 80), Jose Andres Hernandez (Fede Varela 66), Eddie Munjoma (Baboucarr Njie 71).
Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Rakovsky, Uzo, Carlos Anguiano.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Jahmali Waite, Michael Deshields, Pat Hogan, Arturo Ordonez, Burke Fahling (Trevor Zwetsloot 46), Langston Blackstock (Junior Etou 76), Marc Ybarra, Edward Kizza (Robbie Mertz 86), Danny Griffin (Luke Biasi 76), Kenardo Forbes, Tola Showunmi (Nathan Dossantos 46).
Substitutes Not Used: DZ Harmon, Jonathan Gomes.