Jahn’s tidy finish bumps Phoenix Rising FC’s win streak to 19
Phoenix Rising FC’s last midweek fixture of the regular season was, by default, going to be one of the biggest challenges left in keeping their historic win streak alive.
The match being on the road Wednesday against Las Vegas Lights and manager Rick Schantz taking a, rightfully so, conservative approach to his lineup with another match coming soon on Saturday added more odds.
Midfielder Jon Bakero was out due to injury while star wingers Solomon Asante and Junior Flemmings were not in the starting XI and instead featured on the bench. Both of Schantz’s regular fullbacks in Mustapha Dumbuya and Amadou Dia were out on international duty too, leaving two reserves at left back and right back.
Despite those key names missing at the start, Rising had just enough in them via a superb Adam Jahn finish to squeak by Las Vegas 1-0 for their 19th straight win of league play.
The opening half was a rather dull affair as both teams looked for some offensive creativity.
Midfielder Jose Aguinaga took the charge for Rising in this portion and did well to create a few openings.
One of those was his ball out wide that set up a cross to his midfield partner Kevon Lambert, who nearly put home a spectacular finish.
The last midfielder of the three-man unit James Musa also fired a first-time strike outside the box just wide of the post in the 20th minute. Las Vegas had a header on a corner come close as well but it was mostly ho-hum from both sides.
Flemmings came on at the start of the second half to inject some life into the attack and it didn’t take him long to become a threat.
In the 55th minute, a pass from Jahn found Flemmings’ foot and he took on two defenders to counter. After a nifty stop-and-go move to create space, the Jamaican cut left and got off a left-footed shot that was narrowly saved.
The breakthrough came in the 62nd minute.
Flemmings took on multiple defenders down the right wing and his cross was deflected. The ball, however, landed in the box right in front of Jahn, who adjusted his body to the ball and curled it beautifully into the left side of the net with his left foot for his 15th goal of the season.
Both teams searched for chances in the next 20 minutes, and while there were glimpses of it in the box, nothing serious for either side materialized.
In order to ensure the victory as much as he could, Schantz brought on Asante in minute No. 84, matching up the vaunted “AJF” attacking trio to close up shop.
They did just that in rather impressive fashion, continuing to play their brand of soccer by controlling the game, save for a Lights freekick and last-second attack that was quickly neutralized for the final whistle.
Both squads mustered only three shots on target and Rising held 60% possession.
Phoenix Rising will look to make it 20 in a row on Saturday when they take on LA Galaxy II. You can hear that match streamed live on ArizonaSports.com.