(February 28, 2018) — Phoenix Rising FC fell behind early and remained behind for nearly an hour before battling back to earn a 2-2 draw in regulation to Ecuadorian side Liga Deportiva Universitaria. The two sides would settle the match in penalty kicks with Liga Deportiva Universitaria edging Rising FC 3-2.
Prior to Rising's two goals, the story for the club was its goaltending. Starter Carl Woszczynski and sub Zac Lubin both turned in high-quality performances, making no less than six big saves between the two of them.
But it was the club's two goals that would receive the most attention.
Rising trailed 2-0 when forward Didier Drogba lined up to take a free kick in the 54th minute. He took his shot on the target and benefitted from a slight deflection off a defender to score his second goal of the 2018 preseason and help Rising pull within one goal.
The score remained that way until the 83rd minute when defender Joe Farrell unleashed his inner Drogba, outjumping everyone around him on a corner kick and beating the goalkeeper with a header to level the match at 2-2.
The two sides then went to Pk’s with Liga Deportiva Universitaria edging Rising 3-2.
Phoenix Rising will now return to Arizona to finish out its training before the beginning of the USL regular season.
The club opens the USL season on the road on Saturday, March 17 against Orange County Soccer Club at 7 p.m. Rising FC's home opener will be against OKC Energy FC on Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets for the home opener by heading to PHXRisingFC.com.