Phoenix Rising came hard at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 right out the gate Sunday at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Goals from Jason Johnson and Alessandro Riggi in the first six minutes of the match proved to be enough as Phoenix Rising solidified its fifth-place standing in the Western Conference with a 4-0 win over Vancouver, extending the franchise record winning streak to four matches, a franchise-record three straight clean sheets and the unbeaten streak now to 10 matches. Phoenix Rising has conceded just one goal in its last five matches.
Johnson got the scoring started in the fourth minute when Riggi threw a cross in to Johnson, who was able to get his head on it and put it past Sean Melvin for the early 1-0 lead.
Just two minutes later, Riggi was able to counter off a Vancouver turnover and take it down the field and fired a shot past a diving Melvin for a quick 2-0 lead.
Vancouver got two chances from Terran Campbell in the middle of the first half. Shots in the 24th and 28th minutes, but Josh Cohen was up to the task, making a pair of easy saves.
Chris Cortez would have two great chances late in the first half. In the 31st minute, Cortez hit a low free kick around the wall that Melvin was able to make the save on. Then in the 43rd minute, Cortez was able to drive about 40 yards on a turnover and forced Melvin to come out of his net, but Cortez was unable to chip it over Melvin and pushed it wide and the half came to a close with Phoenix Rising holding the 2-0 lead.
Vancouver tried to get a quick start on the second half from the foot of Francis DeVries. He tied a half volley from just outside the 18 in the 46th minute, but Cohen was in the right place to make the easy save.
Phoenix Rising added a third goal just four minutes later when Cortez hit a shot from the left corner of the 18. Hit shot was blocked by Cole Seiter and his deflection went up in the air over Melvin and found the back of the net.
Campbell had two more chances in the second half to get Vancouver on the board in the 67th and 69th minutes, but Cohen was ready for both those shots and made easy saves.
And then the hits kept coming for Phoenix Rising. Gladson Awako found the scoresheet in the 76th minute. Awako took his shot in the box and fired it past Melvin to give Phoenix Rising the 4-0 lead.
David Norman had a couple of attempts on for Vancouver in the the 81st and 83rd minutes, but Phoenix was able to avoid giving up a goal.
Vancouver’s final chance came in the 87th minute, as Marcos Bustos’ free kick was easily saved by Cohen.
Phoenix Rising continues on this four-match road trip with a match on Wednesday night in Portland to face Portland Timbers 2 at 7:30 p.m.