The Swope Park Rangers fell to Phoenix Rising FC 4-3 giving them their first loss of the this year’s campaign. Chris Cortez, Allesandro Riggi, Luke Rooney, Peter Ramage, Kevin Oliveira and Christian Duke scored the seven goals in tonight’s thriller, respectively.
Phoenix kicked off the match with a star-lineup of former Sporting KC star Omar Bravo and Shaun Wright-Philips looking to open the scoresheet, however Bravo’s early attempt was knocked out by Pasher with a header. Setting the tone for the match.
The Ivory Coast International and former Chelsea star, Didier Drogba was on hand but did not appear in tonight’s match.
The Rangers faced a dangerous first half, as Phoenix tallied three goals in a five-minute span, with the first goal scored by Riggi in the 22nd minute.
Moments later, Phoenix would score two goals back-to-back. The first added by Rooney after earning a penalty kick bringing the score up 2-0. Cortez would quickly add another goal by curling a shot into the far left corner, giving Phoenix their third goal of the night.
The Rangers attacked Phoenix’s goal during the five minutes of stoppage time creating several chances, but unfortunately could not get on the board going into halftime.
Riggi began the second half, the same way he left it off, challenging Amer Didic. Shortly after Ramage scores a fourth goal off a header from a cross by Rooney increasing Phoenix’s lead 4-0 in the 47th minute, Didic continued to show an amazing performance by stopping Bravo with a sliding challenge taking the ball out of range.
Kevin Oliveira scored two stunning goals, since returning from an torn ACL injury. His first goal came in the 78th minute, when in Phoenix is shown a red card giving the Rangers a penalty kick. Oliveira converted the shot opening the scoresheet for the Rangers. Oliveira scored the second goal during the 89th minute, when his shot bounced off the crossbar inside the box.
In the final minutes of stoppage time, both of Oliveria’s goals sparked life into the game as the Rangers looked to close the gap. Their opportunity came when Duke shot one straight to the back of the net, off of Oliveira’s foot. The Rangers tried tie the match with one minute left, but ultimately fell 4-3 in a wild finish.
The Rangers will continue on the road facing the Real Monarchs SLC on April 29th.