PHOENIX – Alejandro Guido scored the winner as San Diego Loyal SC took a 3-2 victory against Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday night at Wild Horse Pass after letting a two-goal lead slip in the second half as the hosts tried to mount a comeback.
San Diego was forced into an early substitution as Jack Metcalf suffered an injury, but his replacement Evan Conway almost delivered the opening goal for the visitors shortly after coming on only to send his free header wide of the left post after a good delivery from the right. Conway also flicked a header just wide in the 15th minute off a corner kick from the right by Thomas Amang, while Grant Stoneman had a chance for SD Loyal in then 20th minute as a free kick from the left fell kindly for him in the penalty area, but he shot well over the crossbar from 12 yards.
SD Loyal struck first in the 38th minute, however, as Conway finally bagged the opener after he received possession on the left side and patiently moved toward the top of the penalty area while the defense backed away before picking out the bottom-right corner of the net with a low shot. Phoenix almost hit back shortly before halftime as Conway’s former Union Omaha teammate Greg Hurst was set up for a shot from the top-right edge of the penalty area, but his finish went just wide of the left post, but SD Loyal instead made it a two-goal lead in first-half stoppage time as Amang found Kyle Vassell with a low cross from the left for a first-time finish at the top of the six-yard area.
Amang almost added to his assist 11 minutes into the second half as he got into space in the left side of the penalty area and fired for the far corner only for Phoenix’s Ben Lundt to make a fine save to turn the ball wide of the right post. Rising FC then began to rally as in the 66th minute James Musa headed home powerfully off an angled cross by Aodhan Quinn to half the deficit. Five minutes later, the game was level as Luis Seijas controlled a half-cleared corner kick outside the top-right edge of the penalty area and fired home a shot that got through traffic and found the net.
SD Loyal regained the lead with 14 minutes to go, however, when Guido regained possession after a defender blocked an attempted through-ball and himself drove forward into the right side of the penalty area and launched a finish into the top-left corner of the net. Rising FC had a late chance to level in the final minute when Joe Farrell flicked a header just off target from the center of the penalty area, but San Diego held firm in the closing stages as Rising FC lost for the first time in the regular season at Wild Horse Pass.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Evan Conway, San Diego Loyal SC – Called on as an early substitute, Conway helped set the tone for the visitors with some near-misses before bagging the opening goal, his first in the club’s colors.
SD – Evan Conway (Tumi Moshobane) 38’
SD – Kyle Vassell (Thomas Amang) 45+2’
PHX – James Musa (Aodhan Quinn) 66’
PHX – Luis Seijas 71’
SD – Alejandro Guido 76’