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Gameday Report: June 29, Week 17

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 06/29/19, 9:15PM EDT

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Rising FC leaves it late but extends winning run to eight; Rowdies regain East's top spot

Sebastián Guenzatti’s 92nd-minute goal helped the Tampa Bay Rowdies return to the top of the Eastern Conference with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium. Elsewhere, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and the Charlotte Independence continued their recent revivals with home victories, while North Carolina FC earned an impressive 1-0 win over Nashville SC.

In the West, Amadou Dia's 94th-minute header ensured Phoenix Rising FC's league-best winning run reached eight games with a 4-2 victory over the Portland Timbers 2 at Casino Arizona Field. Elsewhere, Fresno FC and Reno 1868 FC moved into the top three with victories on their respective home turfs, while Austin Bold FC earned its biggest win in club history with a 5-0 rout of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.

Select a match below...

 

reno 1868 fc (2) v sacramento republic fc (0)

RENO, Nev. – 1868 FC moved up to second place in the Western Conference standings after completing a season sweep of Donner Pass Derby rival Republic FC. The hosts nearly took the lead from a second-minute free kick as Seth Casiple tried to catch Republic FC goalkeeper Josh Cohen cheating to one side and almost had the power to find the near post with his long-range effort. Sacramento came close with a long-range effort of its own in the 25th minute when Shannon Gomez tried his luck from outside the box and had Reno goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski diving towards his right-hand post, but the effort just sailed wide. Raul Mendiola opened the scoring for 1868 FC with 10 minutes remaining in the first half as Duke Lacroix’s through ball just evaded a Republic FC defender and the attacking midfielder coolly slotted a left-footed shot past Cohen into the bottom-right corner. Sacramento should have been back on level terms just three minutes later when Drew Skundrich played leading scorer Cameron Iwasa in on goal, but the forward blazed his left-footed shot over the crossbar. Iwasa missed another golden opportunity two minutes after halftime as he saw his weak penalty kick saved by Marcinkowski after Mendiola had fouled Gomez in the box. Marcinkowski did really well to keep out Mitchell Taintor’s header from a 50th-minute corner kick and Reno rewarded him with a second goal on the hour mark as Sergio Rivas took Sam Gleadle’s pass and beat Cohen with the outside of his foot from the left edge of the six-yard box. That was all the support the 1868 FC goalkeeper and his defense would need as it held on for a comfortable victory.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

J.T. Marcinkowski, Reno 1868 FC – Marcinkowski made three timely saves, including one on a second-half penalty kick, to help 1868 FC earn a 2-0 shutout victory over Republic FC at Greater Nevada Field.

 

phoenix rising fc (4) v portland timbers 2 (2)

PHOENIX – Two goals from left back Amadou Dia ensured Rising FC’s winning run reached eight games with a dramatic late victory over the Timbers 2. The hosts nearly took the lead six minutes into the contest when Adam Jahn rose highest to meet Joey Calistri’s cross, but the forward saw his downward header bounce off the turf and then back off the crossbar before being cleared to safety. Phoenix continued to apply the early pressure as Calistri just missed the bottom-right corner with a shot five minutes later and then saw a lovely diving header parried behind by T2 goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic. Asante should have given the hosts the lead in the 19th minute when Calistri squared the ball across the six-yard box, but the diminutive forward somehow shot straight at Ivacic with the goal gaping. Jon Bakero forced the T2 goalkeeper into another diving stop from a free kick just shy of the half-hour mark and Rising FC finally opened the scoring in the 32nd minute from the penalty spot, with Asante converting to record his seventh consecutive game with a goal. Portland only needed five minutes to find its equalizer though, as Rising FC goalkeeper Zac Lubin came way out of the box to intercept a long ball but failed to clear and T2 took advantage of a scrambling Phoenix defense and worked the ball to Cristian Ojeda, who slotted a right-footed shot into the bottom-right corner at the second attempt. The Timbers 2 took the lead four minutes after halftime when Foster Langsdorf’s initial shot was blocked by Rising FC defender AJ Cochran but bounced perfectly into the path of Brayan Hurtado, who tucked his left-footed shot past Lubin from close range. Phoenix found its equalizer from an unlikely source as Dia scored a stunning solo goal, working his way past a pair of defenders before finishing through the legs of Ivacic to tie the contest in the 62nd minute. Both sides searched for a winner late on with Ojeda just missing the target from the top of the box before Dia saved Rising FC’s winning run, heading home Asante’s cross at the back post in the 94th minute. Asante converted his second penalty kick of the evening two minutes later to cap off a drama-filled evening at Casino Arizona Field.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Solomon Asante, Phoenix Rising FC – Asante scored for the seventh game running by converting a pair of penalty kicks and assisted on the game-winning goal to lift Rising FC to its eighth straight win.

 

las vegas lights fc (0) v okc energy fc (1)

LAS VEGAS – Energy FC ended its five-game winless run with a dramatic late win over Lights FC at Cashman Field. The visitors had the first clear-cut opportunity to take the lead in the 24th minute when Deshorn Brown got behind the Las Vegas defense but blazed his left-footed shot over the target. Lights FC created the better of the chances after that as Gabe Robinson’s first-time volley from Pablo Cruz’s free kick forced a save from Cody Laurendi and the Energy FC goalkeeper showed off his athleticism to keep out Mobi Fehr’s right-footed curling effort from the edge of the penalty area just before halftime. Brown again worked himself into a great position for OKC shortly after halftime, cutting inside his defender but then shooting straight at Lights FC goalkeeper Thomas Olsen. As the second half wore on, both teams continued to search for a winner with Las Vegas coming inches away in the 82nd minute when Preston Tabort Etaka gained possession after some sloppy play at the back from OKC and crossed for Irvin Parra, who connected sweetly with a side-footed volley but saw his effort come back off the post. That moment proved to be crucial as Energy FC snatched all three points with a minute to play when Brown did expertly well to control Jonathan Brown’s pass and beat Olsen from a tight angle to silence the home crowd.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Deshorn Brown, OKC Energy FC – Brown was dangerous in attack from start to finish and scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute to hand Lights FC its first home defeat of the season.

 

fresno fc (3) v El paso locomotive fc (0)

FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno FC moved up to third place in the Western Conference with a convincing win over Locomotive FC. Fresno goalkeeper CJ Cochran was busy early on as he came out and made himself big to deny Omar Salgado on a one-on-one opportunity and then made a remarkable diving save to keep out Navarro’s right-footed volley from the resulting corner kick. After a slow start, the hosts worked their way back into the contest and put the ball in the back of the net in the 22nd minute, but Jaime Chávez was adjudged to be in an offside position when he headed Zach Ellis-Hayden’s right-wing cross past Logan Ketterer. The Locomotive FC goalkeeper showed off his athleticism eight minutes before halftime when he got down low to keep out a left-footed blast from long-range specialist Jemal Johnson. Fresno amped up the pressure after the break as Chávez saw a pair of efforts saved by Ketterer in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, before Johnson and Jackson just missed the target with efforts from outside the box. All of that pressure finally paid off in the 63rd minute when Juan Pablo Caffa got to the byline and crossed for Jackson, who supplied a perfect diving header to give his side the lead. Fresno doubled its lead just three minutes later when Qudus Lawal beat Ketterer to an under-hit backpass and fired the ball into an empty net. Fresno had a great chance to get its third goal from the penalty spot but Caffa saw his chip saved by Ketterer, but Lawal made up for it by firing home a rebound with six minutes remaining after the Locomotive FC goalkeeper had stopped Chávez’s initial header to round out a well-deserved win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Qudus Lawal, Fresno FC – Lawal scored twice and completed 71 percent of his passes to lead Fresno to a convincing victory over Locomotive FC at Chukchansi Park.

 

tulsa roughnecks fc (1) v real monarchs slc (3)

TULSA, Okla. – The Monarchs came from a goal down to beat the Roughnecks for their third straight win. Tulsa benefitted from some sloppy early play by the visitors as Masta Kacher’s misplaced pass allowed Rodrigo da Costa waltz into the box and place a left-footed shot inside David Ochoa’s near post to give the Roughnecks the lead in the seventh minute. Real bounced back quickly after going behind as Maikel Chang forced Tulsa goalkeeper Eric Dick into a reflex save five minutes later and Kacher made amends for his early mistake, finding the back of the net via a deflection to level the contest in the 17th minute. The Monarchs took the lead from a corner kick just four minutes later as Noah Powder’s in-swinging delivery was flicked on by Douglas Martínez, allowing Konrad Plewa to produce the finishing touch with a diving header at the back post. Martínez made it three just five minutes after halftime, taking Josh Heard’s layoff at the top of the box and firing a low shot past Dick into the bottom-left corner. Da Costa forced an acrobatic stop out of Ochoa just after the hour mark and Tobenna Uzo had a goal correctly called off for offside in stoppage time as the Roughnecks fell to their fifth straight defeat.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Douglas Martínez, Real Monarchs SLC – Martínez scored a goal and added an assist to help the Monarchs claim their third straight win.

 

orange county sc (1) v la galaxy ii (2)

IRVINE, Calif. – A pair of goals from Frank López helped the Galaxy II snap their eight-game winless run against Orange County. The visitors came close to opening the scoring just after the half-hour mark when Augustine Williams tested Patrick McLain with a left-footed shot from outside the box and the OCSC goalkeeper did well to deny Omar Ontiveros’ header from a corner kick a minute later. The home side probably should have taken the lead just before halftime but Jerry van Ewijk skewed his shot wide after a poor clearance fell at his feet in the center of the penalty area. The Galaxy II took the lead two minutes after the break when López ran onto Brian Iloski’s long ball over the top and beat McLain with a left-footed shot from a narrow angle. Orange County was back on level terms just seven minutes later when Liam Trotter’s initial shot was saved by Los Dos goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg, but Vinicius was on hand to fire home the rebound from close range. After equalizing, the hosts pushed for a winner as Aodhan Quinn tested vom Steeg with a dipping effort from 20 yards out and Trotter saw a tight-angle shot stopped by the Galaxy II goalkeeper with seven minutes remaining. But with four minutes remaining, it was the visitors that found the winner as López took the ball off Owusu-Ansah Kontor just outside the center circle and carried it to the edge of the box before beating McLain to the bottom-left corner and giving the Galaxy II all three points.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Frank López, LA Galaxy II – López scored twice on six shots and won 6 of 9 duels to lead Los Dos to a vital road victory over its California rival Orange County.

 

austin bold fc (5) v colorado springs switchbacks fc (0)

AUSTIN, Texas – Bold FC recorded its biggest win in its history against the Switchbacks. André Lima got the scoring started 13 minutes into the contest when he took Kleber’s layoff and placed a first-time right-footed finish into the bottom-right corner from just outside the penalty area. The forward doubled his tally just seven minutes later when he lost his marker at the back post and headed Josué Soto’s left-wing cross across Switchbacks goalkeeper Andre Rawls and into the side netting. Austin added its third goal just before the half-hour mark in stunning style as Francis Atuahene curled a right-footed effort from distance beyond the outstretched Rawls and into the top-right corner. Bold FC didn’t let up after halftime as Xavier Báez rifled Lima’s layoff past Rawls and into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards out to extend the lead to four in the 50th minute. Things got even worse for Colorado Springs six minutes later when Jordan Burt attempted to clear Sonny Guadarrama’s cross behind for a corner kick but found the back of his own net instead, summing up a very forgettable night for the visitors.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

André Lima, Austin Bold FC – Lima scored Austin’s opening two goals and assisted on another while completing 95 percent of his passes as Bold FC earned its biggest victory in club history.

 

tampa bay rowdies (2) v ottawa fury fc (1)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sebastián Guenzatti’s 92nd-minute goal lifted the Rowdies to a dramatic victory over Fury FC. Guenzatti created the game’s first good chance when he nicely settled Pape Diakité’s clearance at the edge of the penalty area and fired a right-footed volley that Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving had to deal with. Fury FC responded with the game’s opening goal four minutes later as Christiano François picked Diakité’s pocket and caught out Tampa Bay goalkeeper John McCarthy with a left-footed shot from the left side of the box. The Rowdies got back on level terms nine minutes before halftime when David Najem’s volleyed cross found its way to Juan Tejada at the back post and the forward made no mistake with a first-time finish from close range. Guenzatti fizzed a shot just wide of the bottom-right corner with two minutes remaining but made up for it in stoppage time when he produced a splendid backheel finish to Lucky Mkosana’s cutback from close range to give the Rowdies a late win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Sebastián Guenzatti, Tampa Bay Rowdies – Guenzatti attempted five shots and scored with his last attempt, audaciously backheeling the ball into the back of the net to give the Rowdies a dramatic late victory.

 

north carolina fc (1) v nashville sc (0)

CARY, N.C. – North Carolina remained unbeaten at home with a narrow win over Nashville. The two sides traded early chances as NCFC right back D.J. Taylor tested Connor Sparrow with a left-footed drive from outside the box in the third minute and NSC leading scorer Daniel Ríos forced a save from Alex Tambakis just after a quarter of an hour had passed. North Carolina nearly took a lead from a set piece when Sam Brotherton headed Dre Fortune’s corner kick right at Sparrow, but the home side finally opened the scoring on the half-hour when Ben Speas applied a perfect first-time finish to Aarón Guillén’s cutback and beat the NSC goalkeeper to the bottom-right corner. NCFC nearly doubled its advantage six minutes later when Sparrow spilled Steven Miller’s shot but Darnell King came to his goalkeeper’s rescue and blocked Donovan Ewolo’s shot with the goal gaping. Nashville came close to finding an equalizer on either side of halftime as Ríos just missed the far corner with a curling right-footed effort in the 42nd minute and Cameron Lancaster’s header from King’s cross sailed just over six minutes after the break. Tambakis made one more stellar save, diving to his left to deny Ríos from a free kick in the 83rd minute, to shut the door as North Carolina earned an impressive home win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Aarón Guillén, North Carolina FC – Guillén completed 88 percent of his passes, won 5 of 6 duels and assisted on the game’s only goal to help North Carolina remain unbeaten at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

 

charleston Battery (1) v new york red bulls ii (1)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Red Bulls II battled back for a point against the 10-man Battery at MUSC Health Stadium. The two teams failed to produce many quality opportunities in a chippy first half, but New York came closest to opening the scoring in the 14th minute when Jared Stroud’s right-footed shot from the center of the box just strayed wide of Joe Kuzminsky’s goal. The biggest talking point of the opening 45 minutes came just before the break when Battery midfielder Tah Anunga was shown a straight red card for a crunching challenge on Red Bulls II captain Vincent Bezecourt. Despite being down to 10 men, it was Charleston that came out of halftime looking more threatening as Nicque Daley got behind the New York defense in the 48th minute but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Evan Louro with a right-footed shot. Daley made no mistake six minutes later as Kotaro Higashi again sprung the forward in behind and he slotted his right-footed effort beyond Louro and into the bottom-right corner. Mathias Jørgensen probably should have equalized in the 67th minute when Stroud did really well to get to the byline and square a pass back for the Dane, but he miscued his left-footed shot from the top of the six-yard box. Jørgensen made amends with 10 minutes remaining as he found the ball in a crowded penalty area and picked out the bottom-right corner with a low left-footed finish to ensure the Red Bulls II headed back to New York with a point.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Mathias Jørgensen, New York Red Bulls II – Jørgensen recorded five shots (three on target) and scored the equalizing goal with 10 minutes remaining to secure a road point for the Red Bulls II in Charleston.

 

charlotte independence (1) v memphis 901 fc (0)

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Jorge Herrera’s 69th career regular-season goal led the Independence to victory over 901 FC. The visitors had the best chance of a quiet first half when Lagos Kunga’s left-wing cross reached Adam Najem at the back post and the midfielder nicely cushioned a header into the path of Elliot Collier, who fired a right-footed volley from just beyond the penalty spot that Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller did well to parry over his crossbar. Charlotte grew into the game after halftime and came inches away from taking the lead in the 53rd minute when Enzo Martinez played a give-and-go with his brother Alex before firing a right-footed shot off the outside of the post. The Independence finally took the lead with 16 minutes remaining when Enzo Martinez dug out a low cross from the right wing that found Herrera in the center of the box and the veteran forward applied a first-time finish into the bottom-left corner that left 901 FC goalkeeper Scott Levene with no chance. Valentín Sabella struck the post with a curling effort and Alex Martinez forced another save out of Levene late on as Charlotte searched for an insurance goal, but it wouldn’t need it as the Independence continued their recent revival.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Enzo Martinez, Charlotte Independence – Martinez recorded five shots, four key passes and assisted on Jorge Herrera’s game-winning goal to help Charlotte claim its second straight home win.

 

indy eleven (1) v louisville city fc (1)

INDIANAPOLIS – The Eleven extended their unbeaten run to 10 games with a draw against Louisville. Indy applied the pressure early on their visitors as Alioune Diakhate played Thomas Enevoldsen in behind just five minutes into the contest, but the forward saw his shot smothered by Louisville goalkeeper Chris Hubbard. Hubbard was called into action again two minutes later when Diakhate’s headed pass found Tyler Pasher in space down the left, but the midfielder’s left-footed volley was parried behind by a strong right hand. The pressure finally paid off in the ninth minute when Pasher played a give-and-go with Enevoldsen before slotting a left-footed shot past Hubbard and into the bottom-left corner to give Indy the lead. The hosts nearly doubled their advantage eight minutes before halftime when Diakhate beat an onrushing Hubbard to Kenney Walker’s free kick but just missed the target with his left-footed effort. Louisville levelled the contest from a free kick 10 minutes after halftime with captain Paolo DelPiccolo firing an unstoppable curling left-footed effort past Eleven goalkeeper Jordan Farr and into the top-right corner. Both teams had chances to snatch all three points in the final 15 minutes as Enevoldsen forced a sliding save out of Hubbard in a one-on-one opportunity before Louisville defender Taylor Peay headed Oscar Jimenez’s free kick just over the crossbar from the center of the box as the sides settled for a point apiece.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Paolo DelPiccolo, Louisville City FC – DelPiccolo scored a stunning free kick to tie the contest early in the second half while also completing 81 percent of his passes and making 10 recoveries in midfield.

 

pittsburgh riverhounds sc (4) v birmingham legion fc (1)

PITTSBURGH – The Hounds extended their winning streak to three games with a convincing victory over Legion FC. The home side opened the scoring 13 minutes into the contest when Neco Brett benefitted from a miscommunication from two Birmingham players to take possession in midfield and then slid a perfect pass to Steevan Dos Santos, who cheekily chipped Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel to give his side the lead. The Hounds doubled their advantage 12 minutes later when Kevin Kerr’s right-wing cross found Robbie Mertz in the center of the penalty area and the midfielder headed past Van Oekel into the bottom-right corner. The Pittsburgh pair connected again with six minutes remaining in the first half with Kerr again delivering a great ball from the right and Mertz providing the finish, sliding in at the back post to volley home and extend the lead to three. Birmingham had a golden chance to cut into its deficit five minutes after halftime but Joe Greenspan’s block on Chandler Hoffman bailed out his goalkeeper Kyle Morton, who had dropped a cross inside his six-yard box. Morton did well to deny Prosper Kasim from a free kick 10 minutes later and Pittsburgh put the game away with 15 minutes remaining when Christian Volesky headed home Anthony Velarde’s cross from close range. Hoffman benefitted from a miscued clearance from Tobi Adewole and ended Morton’s shutout bid with seven minutes remaining, but it was mere consolation as Pittsburgh continued its winning run.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Robbie Mertz, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Mertz scored a pair of goals, completed 80 percent of his passes and made five recoveries to help the Hounds cruise to their third straight win.

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