SAN DIEGO – An early goal by James Musa saw Phoenix Rising FC hand San Diego Loyal SC its first home defeat of the season on Saturday night as the visitors took a 1-0 win at Torero Stadium to claim their second win against their hosts in the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the Pacific Division contenders.
Looking to add to its lead at the top of the Pacific Division, Rising FC got out to an ideal start as it took the lead in the 10th minute. A corner kick from the left by Santi Moar went to the back post, where Joe Farrell’s header back across goal eluded San Diego goalkeeper Trey Muse as Kevon Lambert threatened before coming to Musa near the left post for a close-range finish.
The visitors went close to adding to their lead just before the half-hour mark as a quick transition upfield brought the ball to Solomon Asante outside the top-right edge of the penalty area for a shot that flashed just over the top-left corner of the net. Phoenix went even closer early in the second half as Darnell King dribbled into the right side of the penalty area and set up a chance for Rufat Dadashov that the Azerbaijani international rang off the right post.
San Diego was limited in its chances to a pair of efforts by Alejandro Guido that went off target in the first half, and that continued into the second as the hosts found few clear looks on goal. Rising FC’s Santi Moar intercepted an overhit pass in the 61st minute and raced in for a shot that was tipped over the crossbar by Muse, while San Diego’s Jack Blake shot over the crossbar off a free kick a few minutes later after Guido was brought down by Musa 30 yards from goal.
The hosts tried to apply more pressure late on before Phoenix’s Arturo Rodriguez went inches away from sealing the victory in the final minute with a low shot past the left post. After late efforts by new signing Chase Boone and Miguel Ibarra were unable to test Rising FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls in stoppage time, though, San Diego’s home undefeated run came to an end as Rising FC held the hosts without an official shot on target for the game.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Joe Farrell, Phoenix Rising FC – Farrell let little through defensively for the hosts, winning 4 of 4 aerial duels and making four clearances, three interceptions and four recoveries to go with his early assist on the only goal of the game.
PHX – James Musa (Joe Farrell) 10’