Photo courtesy of Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In a wild finish down the stretch, Phoenix Rising FC endured two early injuries, as well as a penalty kick concession, as Shaun Wright-Phillips scored in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to lead his side to a thrilling 2-1 victory against OKC Energy FC in front of 6,251 at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. Just minutes before, OKC’s Kyle Hyland converted a PK equalizer in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Earlier in the second half, Jason Johnson netted his first for Phoenix, which saw Luke Rooney and Alessandro Riggi leave the match with non-contact injuries in the first half. The depth of Phoenix’s roster prevailed, as the club improved to 3-3-0 (9 points) overall and 3-2-0 at home. Energy FC dropped to 1-4-1 (4 points) overall and 0-3-1 on the road.
50’ – PHX – Jason Johnson (Kody Wakasa)
90’+3 – OKC – Kyle Hyland (penalty)
90’+5 – PHX – Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chris Cortez)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Second-half stoppage time appeared to have seen Energy FC come away with a road point steal. Drawing a penalty near the top of the box, Kyle Hyland the coolly drove his right-footed penalty kick shot inside the right post past diving Phoenix goalkeeper Josh Cohen to tie the score at 1-1. With time winding down, Phoenix had a late burst as the club countered after OKC’s flip throw-in. Jason Johnson crossed in from the left side, OKC’s back line partially cleared it, but Chris Cortez kept the play intact. He dished to Shaun Wright-Phillips to his left, and Wright-Phillips fired into the left of the frame for the 2-1 lead to grab the full three points at home.
2. Phoenix was thrown a wrench within a 10-minute span as two significant, non-contact injuries affected Rising FC. Luke Rooney awkwardly tripped in the 19th minute, tried to make a return five minutes later, but his tentative movement forced him to come out as Miguel Timm made his first appearance of the season. Then in the 28th minute, Alessandro Riggi was on the dribble but appeared to injure his right knee as he dropped to the turf and rolled around in discomfort. Jason Johnson was brought in almost immediately as his replacement as the club saw two of its most influential playmakers depart early.
3. Among those first-half replacements, it was Johnson who had the most influential presence in the game. He created a couple first-half chances, and the 26-year-old Jamaican broke through early in the second half. Kody Wakasa provided the buildup down the right side, crossed to Johnson who fired a left-footed shot through the legs of OKC’s Mickey Daley and inside the left of the frame for a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute. It was the first goal of the year for Johnson, who played for San Antonio FC last season and Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire in 2015.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Omar Bravo, Phoenix Rising FC – Bravo didn’t make the score sheet, but he had one of his most effective matches of the season, creating a number of scoring chances and keeping up the attack for a side that withstood two big injuries.
Phoenix Rising FC at San Antonio FC – May 20, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
OKC Energy FC vs. Orange County SC – May 20, 8 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium