PHOENIX (March 24, 2018) — Phoenix Rising FC began its home season with a statement 4-1 win over OKC Energy FC in front of 6,828 fans at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. The home opener was the second-largest crowd in club history. Forward Chris Cortez was the star of the evening thanks to his hat trick.
For the second consecutive match, Solomon Asante was the first to score. His screaming shot from just outside of the box, and into the top right corner of the net, sent the crowd into a fury in the 28th minute. From then on, it was the Cortez show.
Just before the end of the half, a loose ball near the top of the box fell toward Cortez. He made on touch, then struck a quick shot to beat the goalkeeper and make it 2-0 at the half.
Cortez effectively put the game away in the 83rd minute with his second goal of the evening. Another loose ball fell to his feet in the box, but this time Cortez struck it with his first touch to beat the goalkeeper and make it 3-0.
Energy FC got a goal back soon after to make it 3-1, but Cortez wasn't finished. In stoppage time, midfielder Lucca Ricci sent a cross into the box toward Cortez. The forward found himself alone and behind the defense and headed the ball into the far right side of the net to seal his hat trick.
Phoenix Rising heads back on the road next Saturday, March 31, to take on Reno 1868 FC. The match will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. local time. The club will release information about local watch parties early in the week.
PHOENIX RISING FC 4-1 OKC Energy FC
PHX: 28’, 20-Solomon Asante (9-Chris Cortez)
PHX: 45’, 9-Chris Cortez (27-Kevon Lambert)
PHX: 83', 9-Chris Cortez (8-Collin Fernandez)
OKC: 85', 5-Christian Ibeagha
PHX: 90+4', 9-Chris Cortez (21-Luca Ricci)
OKC: 21’, 8-Juan Guzman (yellow)
OKC: 21’, 2-Richard Dixon (yellow)
OKC: 52’, 10-Miguel Gonzalez (yellow)
PHX: 90+1', 1-Carl Woszczynski (yellow)
PRFC Starting XI: 1-Carl Woszczynski; 13-Amadou Dia, 4-Mike da Fonte, 2-Doueugui Mala, 32-Devante Dubose; 8-Collin Fernandez, 27-Kevon Lambert, 10-Gladson Awako (74', 21-Luca Ricci); 20-Solomon Asante (90+5', 17-Alessandro Riggi), 14-Jason Johnson, 9-Chris Cortez
Substitutions Not Used: 28-Zac Lubin, 3-Kody Wakasa, 25-Victor Vasquez, 7-Billy Forbes, 51-Kevaughn Frater