PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC got a goal and assist from Aodhan Quinn while Santi Moar, Arturo Rodriguez and Jon Bakero also found the net in a 4-1 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC on Wednesday night at Wild Horse Pass that saw the hosts move 16 points clear at the top of the USL Championship’s Pacific Division with nine games to go in the regular season.
Las Vegas got onto the front foot quickly and notched the first shot of the game after just 66 seconds as Danny Trejo’s effort was saved by Phoenix’s Andre Rawls, but within a minute Rising FC took the lead as an interception in the Lights FC half set up a quick attacking move that sent Quinn in on goal for a shot that Las Vegas’ Alex Rando got a piece of but couldn’t keep from just crossing the goal line before his covering defenders could clear.
The hosts threatened again soon after as Ryan Flood delivered a cross from the left on an angle that picked out Joey Calistri for a header that was parried away to safety by Rando, but in the 17th minute Phoenix struck again as Quinn added an assist to his earlier goal off a free kick from the left channel that found Moar for a header in the center of the penalty area and his 12th goal of the season and his third in as many games against Las Vegas this season.
Las Vegas answered back nine minutes later off a set piece of its own as Roberto Molina delivered a good free kick from the right that got the faintest of touches from Julian Vazquez that helped steer it into the left corner of the net. Before the clock reached the half-hour mark, though, Phoenix had restored its two-goal lead when Rodriguez stole a pass as Las Vegas was trying to move upfield and quickly broke into the right side of the penalty area before blasting home a finish.
Moar almost notched his second of the night in the 37th minute as he cut inside from the left edge of the penalty area onto his right foot and sent a shot that Rando did well to tip onto the right post. Calistri tucked away the rebound, but the flag went up as he was offside when Moar’s initial shot was taken, ruling out the goal. Rando then made another good save on a long-range finish by Flood five minutes before halftime as the sides exchanged chances before the break with Las Vegas’ Christian Torres sending a shot from 30 yards toward the bottom-left corner that was parried away by Rawls.
Calistri was denied again in first-half stoppage time as his shot from 25 yards was parried over the crossbar by Rando, while off the ensuing corner kick from the right Bakero saw his flicked header at the near post hit the left post and carom out before Lights FC’s defense cleared. Rising FC’s pressure continued into the second half as Manuel Madrid nearly scored his first goal for the club but sent a header over the crossbar from a corner kick, and Rando continued to make impressive stops to keep it a two-goal game including a save on Rising FC debutant David Loera off a close-range header before Bakero hit the post for a second time on the rebound.
With eight minutes to go Bakero got his goal, however, as he received a pass from the left side of the penalty area by Prince Saydee and after controlling picked his spot into the bottom right corner of the net, wrapping up a fourth consecutive victory as the side moved to 50 points for the regular season so far.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Aodhan Quinn, Phoenix Rising FC – Quinn had a goal and assist – his fourth consecutive game with a helper – and had five key passes overall while completing 24 of 31 passes overall in Rising FC’s victory.
PHX – Aodhan Quinn 2’
PHX – Santi Moar (Aodhan Quinn) 17’
LV – Julian Vazquez (Roberto Molina) 26’
PHX – Arturo Rodriguez 29’
PHX – Jon Bakero (Prince Saydee) 82’