Photo courtesy Tom Smedes/Reno 1868 FC
RENO, Nev. – Seconds before the end of second half stoppage time, Solomon Asante stepped up and buried a penalty kick that helped Phoenix Rising FC steal three points from a trip to Greater Nevada Field with a 1-0 victory over Greater Nevada Field on Saturday. Off a goal kick just before full-time, Billy Forbes worked the ball down to the end line and was able to power his ball through to the top of the area, where Asante was awarded a penalty. The Ghanaian tucked his effort inside the left post for the decisive strike, one that was also the first for Rising FC three all-time meetings with Reno. Phoenix looked the more likely to crack the scoresheet throughout the contest, as the best opportunity for the hosts came less than two minutes in when Jerry van Ewijk was denied by Carl Woszczynski from close range. Newcomer Kyle Ihn was up to the challenge in goal for 1868 FC, but saw a stellar effort in his first appearance for the club spoiled by the late winner.
90+2’ – PHX – Solomon Asante (penalty)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Asante has now scored in each of his three starts since joining Phoenix in the offseason, providing an added dimension that has augmented an already vaunted attack. Asante’s contributions could prove key as he has accounted for each of the team’s tallies in two outings away from home this season, helping secure four points in the process.
2. Phoenix captured a postseason berth in 2017 due in part to a late charge that saw the side find its form on the road and after opening the campaign with a 1-1 draw at Orange County, Rising FC now owns a 4-1-1 record in its last six regular season road matches. Conversely, one of the strongest home squads in the league during its inaugural season, 1868 FC has now matched its total from all of 2017 with two home losses in the first three weeks of the new year.
3. The goalkeeping battle in Reno on Saturday featured two players with a stark contrast in experience as the Wisconsin-Green Bay and Des Moines Menace product Ihn kept the visitors off the scoresheet until the very end with three saves in his USL debut. At the opposite end, the veteran Woszczynski continued a strong start to the season that has seen him turn away eight of 10 shots faced over three matches, earning his 11th clean sheet in 59 appearances for the club since 2015.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Solomon Asante, Phoenix Rising FC – The midfielder notched his first game-winner, cementing his place in the Player of the Month conversation with a performance that included four key passes and three tackles
Reno 1868 FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – April 14, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field
Phoenix Rising FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – April 7, 10 p.m. ET, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex