2018 USL CUP PLAYOFFS MATCH RECAP | Phoenix Rising FC: 3, Portland Timbers 2: 0

TEMPE, Ariz. – Playing in their first-ever playoff match, T2 fell 3-0 to Phoenix Rising FC before 7,511 fans at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs Friday night.

Season superlatives
Experiencing a breakthrough season in 2018, T2 set new team highs in wins (17), road wins (8) and points (55). The 2018 club also realized new superlatives in a number of key offensive and defensive categories during the campaign, including goals scored (58), assists (38), shots (427), shots on goal (157) and shutouts (12) on the way to its first postseason appearance after finishing the regular season with a record of 17-13-4 (55pts).

Key plays
Holding a 10-3 shot advantage in the first half, T2 created a number of threatening chances. Midfielder Andre Lewis’ cross from the left wing found midfielder Marvin Loría, whose left-footed shot missed just to the left of the far post in the 14th minute. Three minutes later, midfielder Dairon Asprilla forced a Phoenix turnover at the top of the 18-yard box. Midfielder Jack Barmby’s ensuing shot was curled into the arms of the Phoenix goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski.

Phoenix took a 1-0 lead against the run of play in the 27th minute after Didier Drogba’s dipping free-kick from distance was fired past T2 goalkeeper Austin Pack.  

In the 33rd minute, defender Marco Farfan delivered a cross from the left wing that picked out forward Foster Langsdorf, but his header flashed past the far post. After earning a free kick outside the box, Loría curled his shot just over the crossbar in the 35th minute. One minute later, Loría’s in-swinging corner kick picked out defender Arturo Diz Pe, but his header missed the target.

Continuing to apply pressure, Farfan passed the ball into the box to Barmby, who dummied the ball into the path of Langsdorf, but his low shot was saved by Woszczynski in the 39th minute. Three minutes later, Lewis struck a shot from the top of the box that was deflected into the arms of Woszczynski.

In the 50th minute, midfielder Renzo Zambrano drove towards goal, firing a swerving shot from distance that missed inches over the right post. Three minutes later, Asprilla fired a low, long-range shot that missed wide past the post.  

Phoenix doubled its advantage in the 62nd minute when Jason Johnson fired a low shot from the edge of the box past Pack at the near post to make it a 2-0 score line.

In the 80th minute Asprilla’s shot from close range was cleared off the line. Seconds later, the ball fell to Loría at the top of the penalty area, but his curling shot missed inches over the crossbar.

Rising FC added a third goal when Solomon Asante placed his shot from the center of the box into the back of the net in the 90th minute.

Postgame Quote Sheet
T2 head coach Cameron Knowles
On his thoughts after being eliminated from the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs…
“It’s a disappointing result for the way we played for the majority of that match. I think we deserved more out of that game for sure, and that’s just the nature of playoff matches. The guys are very disappointed considering they know that we’re good enough to beat any team in this league on our day. To start the game the way that we did and to play that first half so well and even in large parts of the second half… to have nothing to show for it is a tough one for the guys.”

On the team’s breakthrough campaign in 2018…
“We told the players after the game that when we get the opportunity to step back and reflect on the season as a whole and the turnaround from last year; what the players have achieved is really remarkable and that’s a credit to them for setting such a high bar for themselves and for coming into work every day and focusing on improving and getting better. It was tremendous work from the staff – [assistant coach] Andrew Gregor, [goalkeeper coach] Adin Brown, our sports science and medical staff, including the kit men. Everyone was committed to moving this forward and making sure this was a successful season.”

2018 USL Cup Playoffs | Western Conference Quarterfinals
T2 (6) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (3)

Oct. 19, 2018 – Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex (Tempe, Ariz.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
T2                                 0          0          0
Phoenix Rising FC         1          2          3                   

Scoring Summary:
PHX: Drogba, 28
PHX: Johnson (Cortez), 62
PHX: Asante, 90

Misconduct Summary
POR: Zambrano (Caution), 40
POR: Hanson (Caution), 84
POR: Diz Pe (Ejection), 90+4

POR: GK Pack, D Smith (Hanson, 76), D Diz Pe, D Jadama, D Farfan (Batista, 82), M Zambrano ©, M Lewis (Williams, 66), M Asprilla, M Loría, M Barmby, F Langsdorf

Substitutes Not Used: GK Sulte, D Mulligan, D Ornstil, M Anguiano

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Asprilla, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 4); FOULS: 7 (Zambrano, 3); OFFSIDES:0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2

PHX: GK Woszczynski, D Adbul-Salaam, D Farrell, D Da Fonte, D Dia, M Fernandez, M Lambert, M Asante (Brewer, 90+4), M Drogba © (Awako, 73), M Johnson (Forbes, 82), F Cortez

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lubin, D Mala, M Vega, F Frater

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Johnson, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Five players tied, 1) FOULS: 15 (Cortez, 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3

Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Francisco Bermudez, Seth Martin
4th Official: Dejan Susak
Attendance: 7,511
Weather: Clear, 81 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial