Junior Flemmings scored a pair of goals as Phoenix Rising FC earned its 11th consecutive victory on $1 Beer Night with a convincing 5-0 victory over Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Friday night at Casino Arizona Field. Elsewhere, New York Red Bulls II moved within three points of the Eastern Conference leading Tampa Bay Rowdies with a 3-1 victory over ATL UTD 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
PHOENIX – Rising FC cruised to its fourth consecutive league victory against Roughnecks FC. The hosts nearly took advantage of an early set piece as Junior Flemmings headed Jon Bakero’s free kick on target, but Tulsa goalkeeper Sean Lewis spilled the rebound before recovering to deny Joey Farrell as the defender tried to bundle the ball home from close range. Phoenix went on to open the scoring in the 13th minute when James Musa picked out an outrageous pass from well inside his own half that landed on the right foot of Adam Jahn, who expertly lobbed Lewis with a controlled first-time finish. Lewis responded with a Save of the Week contender eight minutes later, robbing Flemmings with an acrobatic stop to deny a curling effort that looked bound for the top-right corner. However, the Jamaican forward got his revenge in the 25th minute, tapping home Jahn’s square pass from close range to cap off a quick-fire attack. Flemmings played a role in Phoenix’s third goal just before halftime as he did well to keep his feet under the challenge of Mallan Roberts just outside the area and then drew a penalty kick seconds later when the Tulsa defender tripped him in the left side of the box. Solomon Asante converted from the spot, driving the ball right down the middle of the goal to give Phoenix a three-goal halftime lead. Rising FC extended that advantage five minutes after the hour-mark as Asante played a cross-field pass to Flemmings, who took a few touches before curling a low effort past Lewis for his second goal of the game. The hosts weren’t done there however, as Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu found the bottom-right corner with a first time shot from 20 yards out in the 71st minute for his first goal with the club. Rising FC goalkeeper Zac Lubin didn’t have much work to do most of the night, but preserved his shutout with a fantastic diving save in the 90th minute to deny D.J. Dean’s drive from distance and cap off Phoenix’s five-star performance.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Solomon Asante, Phoenix Rising FC – Asante scored from the penalty spot, assisted on a pair of goals and made six key passes as Rising FC cruised to victory at Casino Arizona Field.
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Red Bulls II earned their second straight victory after holding off ATL UTD 2. The visitors had a pair of chances to take the lead in the opening 10 minutes as Chris Lema rifled a left-footed volley from 20 yards out to force a diving save from Dylan Castanheira and the Atlanta goalkeeper just got his fingertips to Jeciel Cedeno’s curling effort a minute later. The hosts fashioned their first chance of the evening in the 20th minute when Laurent Kissiedou played Romario Williams clean through on goal, but the forward had his shot smothered by an onrushing Evan Louro. The Red Bulls II thought they had the lead a minute later when Sebastian Elney’s left-footed shot was parried by Castanheira into the path of Jared Stroud, who tapped the ball into an empty net, but was ruled to be in an offside position by the linesman. New York did open the scoring just before halftime however, as Edgardo Rito slotted a tidy finish beating Castanheira at his near post from a tight angle. The visitors doubled their advantage just two minutes after the break as Lema fed a nifty pass to Elney, who made no mistake with right-footed finish from the right side of the area. After going down two goals, Atlanta amped up the pressure with Kissiedou forcing a save out of Louro in the 57th minute and Brandon Vázquez curled a right-footed finish past the Red Bulls II goalkeeper into the bottom-right corner nine minutes later to cut the deficit in half. However, New York restored its two-goal advantage in the 76th minute when Kyle Zajec scored his third goal in two games, brilliantly redirecting Lema’s free kick into the bottom-left corner with a first-time finish to put the game away and give the Red Bulls II all three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Chris Lema, New York Red Bulls II – Lema recorded a pair of assists, six shots and 11 recoveries as the Red Bulls II earned their second straight win against ATL UTD 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.