Phoenix Rising FC defeats Portland, clinches first ever playoff berth

Sep 28, 2017, 10:27 AM | Updated: 5:24 pm

Phoenix Rising FC of the United Soccer League clinched a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history Wednesday night.

The Rising shut out the host Portland Timbers 2 and secured a spot in the eight-team Western Conference field. Where exactly the Rising finish will get determined by the final four matches, but a win on Saturday means the team will finish no lower than sixth. Phoenix has the luxury of hosting the final three at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in Scottsdale.

The win was the club’s fifth-straight, which extended a club record. For the fourth consecutive match, head coach Patrice Carteron’s club shut out an opponent. After Wednesday’s victory, the team has not surrendered a goal in 367 minutes, which equates to around six hours of game time.

Midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips got the Rising on the board early in the eighth minute, with a rebound shot into the back of the net. In the second half, in the 82nd minute, the team’s leading goal scorer, forward Jason Johnson, scored his 10th goal of the season to make it 2-0. Wright-Phillips assisted Johnson’s goal.

Two goals was all the support goalkeeper Josh Cohen would need. He made his 23rd start of the season and stopped 15 shots.

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