Gladson Awako battles in the midfield during Phoenix Rising FC's 2-1 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. (Isaiah Downing/Switchbacks FC)
(September 9, 2017) — Phoenix Rising FC midfielder, and late substitute, A.J. Gray made the most of his limited minutes, notching the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. The win pushes Phoenix Rising to seventh-place in the Western Conference with 37 points. The win also sets a club record for most points earned in a season (the previous mark was 34 points set last season).
Gray was a 75th-minute sub for Shaun Wright-Phillips when Rising FC (10-7-7) was holding onto a slim 1-0 lead. But less than ten minutes after Gray came into the match, Colorado Springs’ Akwafei Ajeakwa scored an equalizer to make it 1-1. Just three minutes after the game-tying goal, Gray made his mark on the match.
In the 86th minute, Phoenix Rising was on the attack. Amadou Dia sent a high-arcing ball into the box toward Jason Johnson. The club’s leading goalscorer managed to head the ball back toward Gray. After taking a couple of step toward the box, Gray fired a shot that curled inside the far left post to make it 2-1.
Dia notched the match’s first goal of the evening in the 50th minute. After beating his defender on the left side, Dia ran toward the net from the left flank. Despite the challenging angle, Dia fired a shot toward the net and beat the goalkeeper to the near left side for a 1-0 lead over Switchbacks FC (9-11-2).
Phoenix Rising FC has now gone unbeaten in seven-straight matches, a club record. The team returns home this Saturday, September 16, to square off with the Western Conference-leading Real Monarchs at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and fans can purchase tickets at www.PHXRisingFC.com
Match: Phoenix Rising FC at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Date: September 9, 2017
Location: Weidner Field | Scottsdale, AZ
COLORADO SPRINGS FC 1-2 PHOENIX RISING FC
PHX: 50’, 19-Amadou Dia
COS: 83’, 36-Akwafei Ajeakwa (5-Josh Suggs)
PHX: 86’, 24-A.J. Gray (14-Jason Johnson)
PHX: 1’, 2-Doueugui Mala (yellow)
PHX: 45+’, 4-Blair Gavin (yellow)
PHX: 57’, 27-Kevon Lambert (yellow)
COS: 64’ 35-Kim Tae-Seong (yellow)
COS: 70’ 23-Shane Malcolm (yellow)
COS: 71’, 24-Tobenna Uzo (yellow)
PRFC Starting XI: 18-Josh Cohen; 25-Victor Vasquez, 5-Peter Ramage, 2-Doueugui Mala, 3-Kody Wakasa; 4-Blair Gavin (56’, 27-Kevon Lambert), 99-Sam Hamilton, 19-Amadou Dia, 28-Gladson Awako; 29-Shaun Wright-Phillips (76’, 24-A.J. Gray); 23-Matt Hurlow-Paonessa (77’, 14-Jason Johnson)
Substitutions Not Used: 15-John Berner, 8-Matt Watson, 30-Eric Avila, 33-Jordan Stewart