CARSON, Calif. – Phoenix Rising FC grabbed a late winner after Aodhan Quinn had notched a goal and assist in the first half to claim a thrilling 4-3 victory against the LA Galaxy II on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in a game that saw the hosts lead twice and equalize late before an own goal in second-half stoppage time handed Phoenix victory.
In need of a victory to gain ground on the teams above the playoff line, the Galaxy II got out to an ideal start as in the 12th minute Jorge Hernandez delivered a beautiful through-ball for Preston Judd, who strode into the penalty area and then played a pass to his left for Remi Cabral to finish into the left side of the net. Hernandez almost added a second two minutes later as he stole a throw-in by the visitors in their half and wove into the right side of the penalty area only for Phoenix goalkeeper Andre Rawls to save.
Phoenix got the chance to hit back in the 20th minute when Joey Calistri was brought down just inside the top of the penalty area by Los Dos defender Owen Lambe, and Aodhan Quinn stepped up to finish for the 35th regular-season goal of his career in the Championship to level things up. The Galaxy II responded quickly, however, as the hosts kept alive a corner kick from the left and a pass by Jalen Neal to Cabral allowed the forward to cut back a cross for Jesus Vazquez to finish into the left corner of the net.
Arturo Rodriguez tried to again pull the visitors level with a good dribble before playing a give-and-go with Quinn that sent him into the right side of the penalty area for a shot that was well saved by Los Dos goalkeeper Eric Lopez, but on the ensuing corner Quinn’s delivery from the right found Kevon Lambert at the back post as Lopez came off his line but was unable to claim, allowing the Jamaican to head home.
Rising FC then took the lead for the first time 10 minutes before halftime as a good piece of interplay by Darren Mattocks and Rodriguez set up a chance for the Mexican playmaker to fire from the top of the penalty area. While Lopez got down well to save the shot, he was unable to control the rebound allowing Santi Moar to steal in and notch his 11th goal of the season. Rodriguez was then denied a fourth first-half goal for the visitors five minutes later as he sent a low shot on target off a cross by Quinn, and Rising FC continued to push for more as the game entered the second half as Quinn set up Mattocks for a chance that was well saved by Lopez before Rodriguez’s chance on the rebound was blocked by Josh Drack to keep it a one-goal game.
The Galaxy II tried to pull level just before the hour-mark as an angled cross from the left found Cabral at the back post for a header back across goal that found Judd, only for Rawls to come out and make close-range save on his header. Lopez continued to shine for the hosts in goal, though, as he made another fine save to deny Moar his second of the night on a half-volleyed finish from a corner that was arrowing to the top-left corner of the net with 19 minutes to go.
But with 10 minutes to go Phoenix was reduced to 10 men as Joey Farrell was sent off, giving Los Dos a man-advantage they made use of in the 86th minute to level. Breaking forward, Cameron Dunbar found Kai Koreniuk on the right side in Phoenix’s half and he delivered a ball to the top of the penalty area that Jonathan Perez controlled with his first touch and then fired into the left corner of the net for the Galaxy II’s third goal of the night.
Lopez came up with another key save for Galaxy II with a minute to go as off a free kick from the left the ball caromed to Moar in the left side of the penalty area where he took a first-time shot that was acrobatically saved by the goalkeeper before his effort on the rebound floated wide of the far post. Just as it seemed Los Dos had done enough to earn a point in the fifth minute of stoppage time, however, Tate Schmitt delivered an in-swinging cross from the left that deflected off Vazquez as he tried to head clear and found the back of the net, giving Phoenix a dramatic three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Aodhan Quinn, Phoenix Rising FC – Quinn recorded a goal and assist to become only the third player in the Championship’s history with 35 goals and 35 assists in the regular season, and had seven key passes overall in another strong display.
LA – Remi Cabral (Preston Judd) 12’
PHX – Aodhan Quinn (Penalty Kick) 21’
LA – Jesus Vazquez (Remi Cabral) 27’
PHX – Kevon Lambert (Aodhan Quinn) 31’
PHX – Santi Moar 35’
LA – Jonathan Perez (Kai Koreniuk) 86’
PHX – Jesus Vazquez (Own Goal) 90+6’