Sam Hamilton celebrates his first goal of the season, a game winner, over Real Monarchs SLC. (Michael Rincon/PHXRisingFC.com)
Phoenix (September 16, 2017) — Phoenix Rising FC extended its club-record unbeaten run and knocked off the No. 1 team in the USL Western Conference in a 2-0 win over Real Monarchs SLC. The club’s unbeaten streak is now eight matches (5-0-3) as it heads into a brutal two-week road trip in the Pacific Northwest.
Rising FC (11-7-7) wasted little time jumping on the visiting Monarchs. In the fifth minute, the club took advantage of a Monarchs miscue to get a two-on-none opportunity toward the net. But midfielder Alessandro Riggi couldn’t beat the goalkeeper and the score remained 0-0. Then in the 19th minute a Chris Cortez header was also saved to keep the match scoreless.
But in the 29th minute, a Phoenix Rising corner went into the box and found midfielder Kevon Lambert. His shot was saved and then fell to Kody Wakasa, who was also denied. That rebound eventually came to the foot of midfielder Sam Hamilton, who kicked the ball past a sprawling goalkeeper to make it a 1-0 match.
Real Monarchs (17-5-5) struggled to get back into the match thanks to a suffocating Rising FC defense. The Monarchs took just six shots the entire match with just one shot reaching target. That lone chance came in the 88th minute.
With the win, Phoenix Rising FC currently sits in 7th place in the Western Conference standings with 40 points. The top eight clubs qualify for the playoffs.
The club will now embark on a two-week road trip around the Pacific Northwest, beginning with a match at Sounders FC 2 this Wednesday. The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and fans are encouraged to watch the match at the club’s official watch party at the Thirsty Lion in Tempe Marketplace.
PHOENIX RISING FC 2-0 REAL MONARCHS SLC
PHX: 29’, 16-Sam Hamilton
PHX: 73’, 14-Jason Johnson (3-Kody Wakasa)
PHX: 4’, 28-Gladson Awako (yellow)
PHX: 54’, 19-Amadou Dia (yellow)
PHX: 90+2’, 18-Josh Cohen (yellow)
SLC: 90+3’, 61-Daniel Cruz (yellow)
PRFC Starting XI: 18-Josh Cohen; 25-Victor Vasquez, 33-Jordan Stewart, 2-Doueugui Mala, 3-Kody Wakasa; 27-Kevon Lambert, 16-Sam Hamilton, 19-Amadou Dia (85’, 11-Didier Drogba), 28-Gladson Awako; 17-Alessandro Riggi (91’, 8-Matt Watson); 7-Chris Cortez (71’, 14-Jason Johnson)
Substitutions Not Used: 15-John Berner, 4-Blair Gavin, 15-Jordan Gibbons