Solomon Asante was among the goalscorers on Saturday night as Phoenix Rising FC took a 3-2 victory against Real Salt Lake in the final game of the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup. | Photo courtesy Phoenix Rising FC
PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC earned its second consecutive victory against an opponent from Major League Soccer to finish in second place at the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup with a 3-2 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Casino Arizona Field.
It’s the club’s third win over an MLS side in four preseason matches. The club previously had never beaten more than one MLS team in a season.
RSL’s Damir Kreilach opened the scoring in the 11th minute, finishing past covering defenders after teammate Aaron Herrera had hooked a pass to him as he beat Rising FC goalkeeper Zac Lubin to the ball in the right side of the penalty area.
The lead lasted for less than 10 minutes, however, as Rising FC leveled in the 19th minute. Midfielder Jon Bakero blasted a long-range free kick toward the upper-left corner of the net. His shot caromed off the left goal post but bounced back toward the middle of the penalty area where Joe Farrell was on hand to tuck home a first-time finish on the rebound.
Rising FC then took the lead six minutes before halftime thanks to captain Solomon Asante. Phoenix offseason signing Owusu-Ansah Kontoh sent in a long throw-in from the left into the near post that was flicked on by A.J. Cochran, finding Asante at the far post to slam the ball into the net to make it 2-1.
Bakero added to his stellar performance with Rising FC’s third goal of the night in the 57th minute. After a cross by Asante on the right, an RSL defender tried to clear but the ball span to the top of the penalty area where Bakero controlled and hit a left-footed shot into the top-left corner of the net that gave RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath little chance.
Real Salt Lake found the net with a minute to go as Justin Meram buried a low finish into the bottom-right corner of the net, but Rising FC held on to claim another positive preseason result.
Rising FC’s second-place finish marked its best finish in the the Visit Tucson Sun Cup in the club’s history.
|Columbus Crew SC||3||2||0||1||6||1||+5||7|
|Phoenix Rising FC||3||2||1||0||5||4||+1||6|
|New York Red Bulls||3||1||0||2||4||3||+1||5|
|Sporting Kansas City||3||0||2||1||2||4||-2||1|
|Real Salt Lake||3||0||2||1||2||7||-5||1|