Phoenix Rising’s 2nd-half comeback extends USL-record win streak to 12
Just when you thought Phoenix Rising FC’s historic winning streak was about to come to an end, the club managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
Phoenix overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second half on Saturday night, scoring three unanswered goals to defeat LA Galaxy II by a final score of 3-2 to extend its USL Championship record for consecutive matches won to 12.
The win is also Rising’s sixth in a row away from home, setting another Championship record.
It was another slow start to the match for PRFC, somewhat of a regularity on the road this season.
Much like the starts to the Real Monarchs and Reno 1868 FC matches, Phoenix looked to be outplayed for the majority of the opening frame, causing goalkeeper Zac Lubin to make a plethora of unbelievable saves to keep his side in the match.
But Galaxy II opened the scoring late in the first half after a 50-50 ball fell to the feet of Los Dos forward Ethan Zubak, who rifled the left-footed shot into the back of the net to give his side a 1-0 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Efrain Alvarez would double LA’s advantage from the penalty spot after Rising defender Joey Farrell was called for a handball in the box that blocked a Galaxy shot taken on the one-time.
But Los Dos would cheaply give away the ball — much like Phoenix did leading up to LA’s penalty — to PRFC captain Solomon Asante in the 58th minute, who dribbled past the goalkeeper and scored on the open net to cut his side’s deficit in half at 2-1. The goal is the Ghanaian’s 15th on the 2019 campaign, placing him atop the Golden Boot chart.
Everything manager Rick Schantz touched seemed to turn to gold on Saturday night. After not starting midfielder Jon Bakero, Schantz would bring on the Spaniard for holding midfielder James Musa shortly after the Asante goal.
The substitute would prove to be vital, as Bakero was able to assist Junior Flemmings’ equalizer in the 74th minute with a sublime flick at the top of the box that the Jamaican was able to curl into the side netting.
But it was another Schantz substitute that was the hero in Carson — this time it was forward Joey Calistri. The substitute scored the game-winner in the 83rd minute, just five minutes after coming onto the pitch for Jose Aguinaga.
PRFC continues to stamp its dominance of USL, as the club continues to be the entire league’s outright leader in points (47), wins (14), goals scored (56) and goal difference (+37).
Rising also has the fewest goals allowed in the Western Conference at 19.
The club sits atop the Western Conference standings with a three-point lead over second-place Reno with two games in hand.
Phoenix Rising returns home to host El Paso Locomotive on Saturday in the first of three straight home matches.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be audio-streamed on ArizonaSports.com.
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