Jason Johnson celebrates with teammates after scoring his sixth goal of the season in Phoenix Rising FC's 3-1 win. (Michael Rincon/PHXRisingFC.com)
PHOENIX (August 26, 2017) — Phoenix Rising FC forward Chris Cortez tallied a goal and two assists in a 3-1 Phoenix Rising FC win over Sacramento Republic FC. The win extends Phoenix Rising’s unbeaten streak to four matches.
"We had some difficult moments but there was also a lot of quality in the game today, many good passes, many offensive interesting situations for us," head coach Patrice Carteron said. "We could have scored more goals, and defensively we had good intensity as well so I am really happy for our fans because they deserve those three points tonight."
Cortez opened the match’s scoring in the 10th minute after he connected with a Shaun Wright-Phillips corner to make it 1-0.
"Excellent delivery, it made my life really easy; all I have to do was glance a header in," Cortez said. "It’s tons of pace and exactly right on my head so I don’t have to do a lot on it.”
Neither team found the back of the net for the rest of the half, but the scoring drought soon washed away with a flood of goals.
In the 48th minute, Jason Johnson sent a long pass out wide to the left flank for Cortez. On his first touch, Cortez sent the ball back toward an onrushing Johnson who smashed a shot inside the left post on his first touch to make it 2-0.
"For me to get a second goal so early in the second half that helped us a lot and the momentum of the team," Johnson said. "As you could see, they scored one a few minutes after, but I think the momentum from that goal and from the first half was just too strong."
Sacramento’s Trevin Caesar made things interesting two minutes later. Following a diving stop by goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski, Casear jumped on the rebound to cut the score in half, 2-1.
But Phoenix Rising (8-7-6) and Cortez weren’t finished. In the 52nd minute, following a cleared corner kick, Cortez sent the ball back toward the crowd of players. Defender Peter Ramage rose above the fray and smacked a header into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
"Right now, I think we are on a positive vibe. We are playing better week after week and many players can play right now. They are ready physically," Carteron said.
The win improves Rising FC’s place in the standings from 11th to 9th, just one place and three points out of the final playoff position. Sacramento Republic FC (10-8-5) remains in 5th place. This was also Rising FC’s first win over Sacramento Republic FC since the first time the clubs met back on April 19, 2014.
Phoenix Rising FC returns to the Phoenix Rising Soccer complex on Saturday, September 2, against Sounders 2. Fans can still purchase tickets at www.PHXRisingFC.com.
PHOENIX RISING FC 3-1 SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC
PHX: 10’, 7-Chris Cortez (29-Shaun Wright-Phillips)
PHX: 48’, 14-Jason Johnson (7-Chirs Cortez)
SAC: 50’, 19-Trevin Caesar
PHX: 52’, 5-Peter Ramage (7-Chris Cortez)
SAC: 37’, 32-Hayden Partain (yellow)
PHX: 38’, 3-Kody Wakasa (yellow)
PHX: 90’, 14-Jason Johnson (yellow)
PRFC Starting XI: 1-Carl Woszczynski; 25-Victor Vasquez, 5-Peter Ramage, 33-Jordan Stewart, 3-Kody Wakasa; 27-Kevon Lambert, 8-Matt Watson (84’, 16-Sam Hamilton), 14-Jason Johnson, 29-Shaun Wright-Phillips (89’, 19-Amadou Dia), 17-Alessandro Riggi (82’, 4-Blair Gavin); 7-Chris Cortez
Substitutions Not Used: 18-Josh Cohen, 2-Doueugui Mala, 23-Matthew Hurlow-Paonessa, 30-Eric Avila