PHOENIX RISING FC

Phoenix Rising fights through 1st half red card in win over Orange County

Sep 19, 2021, 12:09 AM | Updated: Oct 8, 2021, 7:07 pm
Phoenix Rising FC forward Santi Moar (#7) celebrates scoring a goal in a 2-1 win over Orange County...
Phoenix Rising FC forward Santi Moar (#7) celebrates scoring a goal in a 2-1 win over Orange County SC at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz. on Sept. 18, 2021. (Owain Evans Photo)
(Owain Evans Photo)

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Phoenix Rising FC (16W-5D-3L) remained atop the league table with its 10th win at Wild Horse Pass on Saturday night after beating Orange County SC 2-1 despite playing the second half a man down.

“I told them before the game, and they’ll laugh, I said that they had superpowers, and to think about what superpower they’re going to use tonight,” PRFC manager Rick Schantz said postgame.

“Resilience, determination… To play with 10 (men) for 45 minutes, to give up a goal two minutes into the second half and play the way they did. It’s about 90 degrees with a lot of humidity. I’ve never been prouder of a group of players. That was unbelievable.”

Santi Moar gave Rising a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute following a corner kick from the opposite flag. Solomon Asante collected the loose ball after it skipped through the box and tapped a pass to Moar, who had found a pocket of space inside the area. Without any hesitation, Moar laced a ball hard towards the back post, fitting the ball in a very tight window between Orange County goalkeeper Patrick Rakousky and the woodwork to make it 1-0.

Rising had a second goal by Moar disallowed in the 18th minute after referee Elton García ruled that Quinn obstructed the goalkeeper’s vision while in an offsides position.

Just before the halftime whistle, Tate Schmitt was shown his second caution card of the match for a tactical foul, reducing Phoenix to 10 men for the remainder of the game.

“I’ve never been more proud of a group of players,” Schantz said. “They were more calm [at halftime] than I was.

“I might have put a hole in the wall and had a few things to scream and shout. Thank goodness the staff lets me be alone for a little bit, but I go into the locker room and they were quiet. They were calm. They knew.”

Up a man, Orange County equalized two minutes into the second half when a cross played in from the left flank by Brian Iloski was expertly redirected by Ronaldo Damus. The header clicked off the bottom of the crossbar and settled into the back of the net to make it 1-1 in the 47th minute.

Mattocks put away the game-winner for Phoenix in the 86th minute when Quinn took the ball wide to the left and to the end line before crossing a simple pass into the middle of the six-yard box. Unmarked, Mattocks simply tapped the ball over the end line to score his first goal at Wild Horse Pass.

“I cannot take the credit — credit to the team,” Mattocks said. “We played 45 minutes with 10 men. This team is a really good team. Be patient, be compact, we’re going to get one. We’re going to get one chance and we’ve got to take it. Fortunately, we had three or four chances.

“But credit to the guys – Andre [Rawls], all the backs, the midfielders. Very industrious performance today. For me, it was the icing on the cake, but credit to the nine guys behind me.”

UP NEXT

Phoenix Rising begins a three-game road trip next Saturday away to Tacoma Defiance.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Catch all the action on ArizonaSports.com and the Arizona Sports app.

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