PHOENIX RISING FC

Solomon Asante leads Phoenix Rising to win over 10-man Sac Republic

Jun 27, 2021, 8:57 AM | Updated: 9:08 am
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Phoenix Rising FC had never won a match away to Sacramento Republic FC in club history coming into the 2021 USL Championship campaign.

But in the only two trips Phoenix will make to Sacramento this season, Rising came away with a perfect six points out of six.

PRFC held on to beat 10-man Sac Republic 2-1 on Saturday night at Heart Health Park on the back of captain Solomon Asante, who buried a first half free kick and assisted what ended up being the game-winning goal.

“Big three points on the road! We keep on building,” PRFC forward Santi Moar tweeted after the match.

“Congrats to David Egbo for your first professional goal and Solomon Asante for bringing the magic once again.”

Coming into the match, Phoenix Rising manager Rick Schantz knew he would have to make the first change to his attacking trio after starting Solomon Asante, Rufat Dadashov and Santi Moar in the first eight games of the season.

That’s because Dadashov picked up a foot contusion in the 2-1 loss away to San Diego Loyal SC last week and did not make the trip out to northern California.

Starting in his place was striker David Egbo, who scored a 63rd-minute goal to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead in his first start for Rising after coming over on loan from MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

“First pro start, first pro win, first pro goal… thank you lord,” Egbo tweeted after the match.

But that wasn’t the only change to the starting XI from Schantz.

The PRFC manager also deployed goalkeeper Andre Rawls, left back Tate Schmitt and midfielder Arturo Rodriguez in place of Ben Lundt, Ryan Flood and Jon Bakero, respectively.

In the 38th minute, Sac Republic’s Fatai Alashe was sent off after a reckless challenge on Rodriguez that was followed up with contact between the cleats of the SRFC midfielder and the head of Rising’s Mexican midfielder.

But despite being up a man for over half the match, PRFC did not dominate the game as much as one would assume the Western Conference point leaders would with a man advantage.

Phoenix had 58% possession and outshot Sac 14-10, with PRFC leading in shots on target 7-1.

Rising also outpassed the Republic 506-364 (82%-78%) and split the 26 total fouls on the night at 13 apiece, but Phoenix took home four yellow cards compared to SRFC’s two yellows and one red.

PRFC even led on corners 5-4, but it was Sacramento who was the only team on the night to capitalize from the angled set piece on a Dan Casey header in the 72nd minute to bring the match to its final scoreline of 2-1 in Rising’s favor.

“Until the 75th minute we were fantastic,” Schantz tweeted postgame. “We will learn from this and improve.

“Good aggressive pressure and incisive football. Took risks in attack and showed great skill. Very proud of this team. Everyone has purpose.”

Phoenix now moves to 6W-1D-2L on the 2021 USL Championship campaign to remain atop both the Pacific Division and Western Conference standings with 19 points.

The only other team in the league with more points than Rising is Eastern Conference side Tampa Bay Rowdies with 21.

“So proud of this group. These guys have so much heart, character and love for each other,” assistant coach Juan Guerra tweeted after the match.

“Complete respect and admiration. Three very important points tonight. We battle together again next week. Be proud Phoenix Rising FC family.”

UP NEXT

Phoenix Rising returns home to host LA Galaxy II at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on July 3, with a postmatch fireworks show to commemorate Independence Day.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be audio broadcast live on ArizonaSports.com and on the Arizona Sports app.

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