Phoenix Rising FC’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run came to an end Wednesday in a 2-1 stoppage-time loss to the NASL’s San Francisco Deltas at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex.
A goal by Tommy Heinemann int he final 90 seconds of stoppage time was the nail in the coffin for Phoenix Rising FC. San Francisco moves on to face MLS side San Jose Earthquakes on June 14 in San Jose.
The Deltas got a rhythm early in the match and had some favorable opportunities in the opening minutes. In the fourth minute, Phoenix Rising FC keeper Josh Cohen denied an opening goal by San Francisco. The Deltas ran a lob pass into the box that allowed a one-on-one with Cohen.
Phoenix Rising FC had an opportunity in the 12th minute right outside the box when forward Jason Johnson was taken down. The free kick was taken by Omar Bravo, but no damage was done.
In the 19th minute, Deltas keeper Steward Ceus was hurt attempting to block a cross for Rising FC. Ceus wasn’t seriously hurt and continued playing.
The Firebirds had a great scoring chance in the 34th minute with a free kick by Bravo. Peter Ramage was able to get a head on the ball, but the shot went over the crossbar.
In first-half stoppage time it looked like Bravo would have his first goal of the season, but the offside flag cut the celebration, and the half ended 0-0.
In the second half, Bravo had second chance on goal with a cross from midfielder Eric Avila. The drop-scissor kick just missed the net.
In the 71st minute, a great combination from Bravo to substitute A.J. Gray lead to a cross in front of the Deltas net, but Johnson just missed making the connection.
The deadlock was broken in 80th minute by San Francisco midfielder Kyle Bekker with a free kick outside the box, created by a handball by Kody Wakasa. On the ensuing free kick from Bekker, the ball took a deflection off Ramage and got past Cohen, finding the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The game was not over though. Phoenix Rising earned a penalty in 85th minute off a Bravo free kick. Ramage was pulled down in the box as he was trying to get to Bravo’s service. Bravo stepped up to take the penalty, which he slotted right down the middle past Ceus, leveling the match at 1-1, and leading to the late-game heroics by Heinemann.
Phoenix Rising FC return to USL play June 6 when they travel to play Oklahoma City Energy FC. That game starts at 5:30 p.m. Arizona time.