MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Saturday, July 9) – Phoenix Rising FC lost, 3-1, on the road to Memphis 901 tonight at AutoZone Park.
Kevon Lambert scored the lone goal for Rising, which is off next week before traveling to face Louisville on Wednesday, July 20.
Rising started the match fending off a flurry of attacks from Memphis 901. Ben Lundt came up with a vital kick save on Graham Smith from point-blank range within the opening 30 seconds of the match to set the tone for Phoenix. The save was the first of four first half saves Lundt would make to keep his team in the match.
Phoenix’s Baboucarr Njie picked up a pass and crossed a ball to the back post for Marcus Epps in the 16th minute. Epps’ first touch popped up into the air and he hammered a volley towards goal, but the chance was blocked by a Memphis defender, giving Rising a corner kick.
Memphis 901 took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute when a cutting ball found Luiz Fernando in-behind the Phoenix defense. Fernando walked the ball into the box and set the table for Phillip Goodrum to finish off the chance at the back post.
Memphis put a second goal on the board in the 34th minute when a give-and-go at the top of the box opened the door for Rece Buckmaster to rip a volley into the far corner of the goal with the outside of his foot.
Rising responded immediately when Santi Moar earned a corner kick in the 37th minute. Aodhan Quinn took the corner kick with his left foot, lobbing a ball to the far corner of the six-yard box. There, Kevon Lambert rose above his marker to head home a goal to make it 2-1.
Quinn picked off a pass and put Moar in on goal in the 59th minute. Moar took a touch and fired a rocket on goal, but Memphis goalkeeper Trey Muse tipped the ball over the bar for another Rising corner kick.
Moar won a long ball and set up substitute, Lamin Jawneh to have a strike on goal in the 66th minute. Jawneh struck the ball well, but it was right at Muse, who caught the ball and did not give up a rebound.
Lundt made another outstanding save to deny Chris Allan of a left-footed goal in the 76th minute.
Quinn played Richmond Antwi in on goal in the 81st minute. The forward stretched out to reach the ball just before Muse and poked the ball on goal, but it caught the smallest bit of the goalkeeper’s left hand. The ball trickled towards goal before a Memphis defender arrived in time to clear the ball away from danger.
Memphis tacked on a third goal in the 86th minute when Aaron Molloy curled a set piece into the area. Graham Smith won the header through a pack a defenders to make it a 3-1 final.
901 – Phillip Goodrum (Luiz Fernando) 29
901 – Rece Buckmaster (Jeremy Kelly) 34
PHX – Kevon Lambert (Aodhan Quinn) 37
901 – Graham Smith (Aaron Molloy) 86
PHX – Ryan Flood (ejection) 82
901 – Rece Buckmaster (caution) 84
Phoenix Rising FC – Ben Lundt, Baboucarr Njie (Ryan Flood 46), Joe Farrell, Kevon Lambert, Channing Chasten (Irakoze Donasiyano 62), Aodhan Quinn, Luis Seijas (James Musa 85), Marcus Epps (Lamin Jawneh 62), Joey Calistri, Greg Hurst, Santi Moar (Richmond Antwi 77).
Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Delgado, Richmond Antwi.
Memphis 901 – Trey Muse, Rece Buckmaster, Niall Logue, Graham Smith, Patrick Seagrist, Leston Paul, Aaron Molloy, Jeremy Kelly (Zach Carroll 87), Chris Allan (Devin Boyce 87), Phillip Goodrum, Luiz Fernando (Derek Dodson 72).
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Roming, Laurent Kissiedou, John Talley, Mitchell Myers.