PHOENIX, ARIZONA (Friday, April 30) – Phoenix Rising FC opened its new home at Wild Horse Pass with a resounding, 4-1, win vs. San Diego Loyal SC tonight.
Just as in Rising’s 2020 postseason run, Santi Moar led the way with a goal and two assists. Jon Bakero and Aodhan Quinn also picked up goals for Phoenix, which is back in action at Wild Horse Pass again next Saturday, May 8, against Oakland Roots. That match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on CW 61 Arizona.
Rising started the match off on the attack, when Moar got the ball on the left flank and centered a pass for Rufat Dadashov. Phoenix’s No. 9 brought the ball down and laid it off in the path of Bakero to hit with his first touch, but the midfielder’s strike went well over the bar.
Rising continued to attack near the 15th minute when Solomon Asante got the ball wide to Dadashov. The big striker lined up a shot and fired a line-drive that caught the wrong side of the back post and skipped away from danger.
Rising finally broke through in the 39th minute when Ryan Flood hit an absolute rocket from well outside the area. San Diego goalkeeper Trey Muse did well to punch away the line-drive shot but Bakero was there to put away the rebound, recording the first goal for Rising at Wild Hose Pass.
Phoenix came out of the half still pressing the attack and went ahead, 2-0, in the 55th minute when Santi Moar cut inside and laid a ball off for Bakero to fire on goal. The shot came through a crowd, screening San Diego’s goalkeeper, who got a hand to it, but Moar reacted first to the rebound and slammed home the loose ball.
San Diego cut the lead in half in the 65th minute when Ben Spencer hit a first-touch shot to finish off a cross that was played in from the left side, but Moar fired right back, combining with Bakero at the top of the area before launching another rocket that Muse parried away.
Aodhan Quiin opened his account in Phoenix to reestablish the two-goal lead when Moar cut inside and pushed the ball through into space out wide. Quinn collected the ball well inside the area, on the other side of San Diego’s back line, and calmly picked out the far side netting to make it 3-1.
Moar picked up his second assist on Kevon Lambert’s goal in the 80th minute. Lambert had time to pick up his head and fire a low shot, past Muse and into the corner of the goal to make it a 4-1 final.
PHX – Jon Bakero 39
PHX – Santi Moar 55
SD – Ben Spencer 65
PHX – Aodhan Quinn (Moar) 66
PHX – Kevon Lambert (Moar) 80
PHX - James Musa (caution) 29
Phoenix Rising FC – Andre Rawls (Edward Delgado 90+4), Ryan Flood, James Musa, Tobi Adewole, Darnell King, Aodhan Quinn (Jeremy Kelly 78), Kevon Lambert, Jon Bakero, Santi Moar (Prince Saydee 86), Rufat Dadashov (Seyi Adekoya 86), Solomon Asante (Joey Calistri 90+4).
San Diego Loyal SC – Trey Muse, Grant Stoneman, Thomas Vancaeyezelle, Josh Yaro, Jack Metcalf, Charlie Adams, Collin Martin, Jack Blake (Sal Zizzo 86), Tumi Moshobane, Corey Hertzog (Morgan Hackworth 86), Niki Jackson (Ben Spencer 61).
"I told the guys today before the game started that the crest they wear is not a crest, it's a shield. I used a line from the movie 300 with the Spartans, and I said that nobody breaks your shields when you come together, and you have to stay together. All the noise outside, all the concern and the worry about preseason, nobody else can hold a shield but you guys. And boy, they really protected the house."