Phoenix Rising FC’s Shaun Wright-Phillips dribbles with the ball in the first half against San Antonio FC July 29, 2017 at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. Photo by Michael Rincon/Phoenix Rising FC
On a humid late July night, Phoenix Rising FC and San Antonio FC gave the 5, 463 fans in attendance Saturday night at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex plenty of moments of anxiousness, but a late penalty kick goal from Rafa Castillo gave San Antonio FC a 1-0 win over Phoenix Rising FC.
Phoenix Rising had the first two chances of the match early. In the 10th minute, Didier Drogba had a cheeky shot from about 25 yards out that was saved by San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. Three minutes later, midfielder Chris Cortez would send in a cross from the right that would find the head of Drogba, but Restrepo made a great diving save to keep the game scoreless.
San Antonio had its first chance in the 24th minute. Forward Billy Forbes turned defender Jordan Gibbons inside out and split three defenders and forced a corner kick, which Phoenix Rising cleared.
Phoenix Rising had a chance in the 30th minute when Shaun Wright-Phillips fired a shot from about 30 yards out, and Restrepo made another diving save and knocked it out for a Phoenix Rising corner.
Forbes would make two good plays late in the first half. In the 36th minute he would send a low dangerous cross in the box, but no one would find the back post. Five minutes later, Forbes would send a low cross in the box for Kris Tyrpak, but put a weak shot on net and Josh Cohen dove to make the save and keep the game scoreless at the half.
Cortez would give Phoenix Rising its first chance in the second half in the 54th minute, when he sent his header on net, but it was saved by Restrepo.
Drogba would try to give Phoenix Rising the lead in the 69th minute. He directed a shot on net, but San Antonio defender Ben Newnam headed it off the line keeping the game scoreless.
Alessandro Riggi made his return to the lineup in the 72nd minute and interjected himself into the game four minutes later. Riggi used his speed to get around Tyrpak, who fouled Riggi from behind. Riggi and Tyrpak briefly scuffled, and the two, along with Wright-Phillips, all received yellow cards on the play.
Then came the moment of the match in the 83rd minute. San Antonio sub Cesar Elizando and Cohen collided in the box, and the referee awarded San Antonio a penalty. Rafa Castillo stepped up and calmly hit the penalty kick down the middle past Cohen for the 1-0 lead.
Drogba tried in the 90th and 92nd minutes to try and tie up the match at the end with free kicks, but his free kick in the 90th was saved by Restrepo and hit the wall in the 92nd and full-time hit.
Phoenix Rising FC returns to action Saturday, August 5 with a road match at LA Galaxy II at the Stubhub Track Center in Carson, Calif. at 7:30 p.m.