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Cortez Hat Trick Leads Rising FC Rout

By Staff, 03/25/18, 12:15AM EDT


Cortez nets three, Asante on target again as Phoenix downs OKC before 6,828

Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC

PHOENIX – Solomon Asante electrified a crowd of 6,828 at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex with a 28th minute finish to compliment a Chris Cortez hat trick as Phoenix Rising FC opened its 2018 home slate with a 4-1 victory against OKC Energy FC on Saturday. It was Cortez who found Asante for the first goal of the game as the newcomer unleashed a right-footed strike from distance that scorched past a diving Matt Van Oekel in the Energy FC net. Cortez would do the rest himself, widening the margin with a skillful half-volley just before halftime and pushing the lead to three with a close-range finish following fancy footwork from Collin Fernandez in the area. Christian Ibeagha buried a loose ball off a set piece to put the visitors on the board two minutes later, but Cortez finished off his hat trick with a stoppage time header to punctuate Rising FC’s first win of the season.  

28’ – PHX – Solomon Asante (Chris Cortez)
45’ – PHX – Chris Cortez (Kevon Lambert)
83’ – PHX – Chris Cortez
85’ – OKC – Christian Ibeagha
90+4’ – PHX – Chris Cortez (Luca Ricci)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. Following a debut performance in which the Ghanaian winger provided the lone goal for Phoenix in a 1-1 draw at Orange County SC, Solomon Asante found the back of the net for the second straight match. The newcomer produced an absolute rocket that was laced right under the crossbar for the eventual winner. Cortez helped seal the deal with a brace, but the added firepower off the feet of Asante will be a welcome addition for Rising FC as the season progresses. Phoenix finished fifth in the West with 50 regular season goals a year ago; but saw 54 percent of its scoring accounted for by the trio of Jason Johnson, Didier Drogba and Cortez.
  • 2. With the victory, Patrice Carteron’s side continued to cement a place for Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in the conversation among the most daunting places to play across the league. Rising FC has won five straight at home overall and is now unbeaten in its last eight home matches dating back to last season, compiling a 7-0-1 record while outscoring opponents 21-6 over that span.
  • 3. One week after dominating the run of play in a taxing Black Gold Derby victory over in-state rival Tulsa Roughnecks FC, the OKC attack struggled to push back against an ascendant Phoenix side. Energy FC mustered its first shot on target in the 61st minute when a brilliant through ball from Jose Barril left Richard Dixon with a sliding effort against a rushing Carl Woszczynski, but after firing 21 shots against Tulsa, head coach Steve Cooke’s side failed to mount a consistent threat in the attacking third despite pulling one back late off a set piece. Man of the Match

Chris Cortez, Phoenix Rising FC – After assisting on the opening strike, Phoenix’s target man put the result out of question with an impressive hat trick

Upcoming Games:

Phoenix Rising FC at Reno 1868 FC – March 31, 7:00 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field
OKC Energy FC vs. Orange County SC – March 28, 8:30 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium

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