Looks like Phoenix Rising may have found its swagger at the right time.
First-half goals from Didier Drogba and Alessandro Riggi and a strong game in goal from Carl Woszczynski led Phoenix Rising to a 2-0 victory over LA Galaxy II and earned a season sweep Saturday at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium in Carson, Calif.
Drogba got the scoring opened in the 13th minute. A foul 35 yards from goal set up Drogba for a free kick, and his shot curled and dipped to the lower right corner of the net and got past LA Galaxy II goalkeeper Clement Diop for the 1-0 lead.
Drogba tried to double the lead four minutes later, but his free kick from just outside the 18 on the right went wide of net.
LA had its first chance in the 16th minute, as Ethan Zubak had a shot at goal go wide of the net.
Phoenix Rising kept up the attack for the better part of the first half. Chris Cortez had a header go just over the bar in the 21st minute. Blair Gavin had a chance in the 27th minute off a great ball from Shaun Wright-Phillips, but it was saved by Diop.
Riggi had a pair of attempts in the 29th and 38th minutes that went just wide. Wright-Phillips also had a shot on goal in the 31st minute that was denied by Diop.
But Riggi gave Phoenix Rising a 2-0 lead when he was served a ball out wide on the right. He got past the defender and drilled a low shot to the right of Diop and into the net.
Riggi tried to get a brace five minutes into the second half. Cortez chipped a ball over to Riggi, who volleyed but Diop came up big with a save on the near post.
LA had its first real chances of the match in the 58th and 59th minutes. Justin Dhillon had a chance on goal but was denied by the defense. Then Adrian Vera got behind the defense of Jordan Gibbons, but Woszczynski was able to get a piece of Vera’s shot to knock it over the net.
LA had two more chances to get on the board late in the second half. In the 72nd minute, a cross into the box was cleared by defender Peter Ramage, then in the 89th minute, Ryo Fujii attempted a shot on net, but it went wide.
Phoenix Rising continues its three-match road trip Saturday, August 12 when it travels to Rio Grande Valley FC for a 5:30 p.m. Arizona time start.