Wolves win thriller over Antigua Barracuda FC
Phoenix FC completed a two-match home sweep of Antigua Barracuda FC with Thursday night's thrilling 1-0 win at Grand Canyon University. Tommy Ramos scored what proved to be the winning goal in the third minute of stoppage time of the second half.
Ramos led a breakout on a counter with the Wolves in need of a goal to keep pace in the USL PRO standings for a playoff spot. Only three points would work for Phoenix, as a draw against the last-place team in the league might have dashed the club's postseason hopes in one fell swoop.
Donny Toia found Ramos, who saw an open net in front of him with the goalkeeper out and finished the play with his goal, the crowd of 433 celebrating in unison. Ramos scored his second goal of the season and celebrated it with a Peewee Herman dance.
Phoenix FC is up to 18 points in the USL PRO standings, six points out of the eighth and final spot with four of its final six matches at home.
The Wolves had to move the match from their home pitch at Arizona State University across town to west Phoenix, home of the Antelopes, for the night.
After last Saturday's 1-0 win, the Wolves have their first winning streak of the season. It wasn't easy, as a game Barracudas side threatened with three quality chances to score in the second half with the match still scoreless.
One of those was for forward Eugene Kirwan, whose shot went high of the target in the 59th minute.
The Wolves tried a new lineup Cameron Vickers on the right wing and Darren Mackie back at forward, plus newly arrived goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez in the net after starter Andrew Weber was loaned to Seattle Sounders FC of MLS and Sheldon Parkinson could not play due to injury.
Fernandez, who arrived for one practice session and Thursday's match before he goes back to Real Salt Lake, finished with two saves.
Phoenix FC improved to 4-10-6 while Antigua Barracuda FC remained winless at 0-18. The Wolves outshot Antigua 7-3.
Ramos had an earlier chance to score soon after coming into the match at halftime for Mackie. He hit the post with a shot in the 49th minute.
For more information on Phoenix FC, visit their official team website.