Sporting Kansas City came up short against Phoenix Rising FC. The USL Championship side came from behind to defeat Sporting KC 2-1 Wednesday evening.
Vermes put out more of “second” squad for the first 60 minutes but that did include Johnny Russell and Gerso Fernandes. With a young SKC midfield Phoenix was able to control more of the first half, creating several chances but the defense and Richard Sanchez were up to the task keeping the game scoreless through the half.
Tim Melia and SKC II (Academy graduate) Kaveh Rad were the only substitutions at half but that seemed enough for Sporting KC to take charge and start to control the game.
A Jaylin Lindsey cross found it’s way over the Phoenix defense and dropped in front of Russell who had no problem hitting the back of the net from close range in the 56th minute.
With wholesale subs at the 60th minute for SKC the match took on a new flavor. With a lot more experience on the field, Sporting KC started to show their quality but mistakes were their undoing.
In the 66th a Phoenix player bodied Ilie as he received a pass. The ball slid to Joey Calistri who threaded the ball through the SKC defensive line to halftime substitute Santi Moar. He took a touch and then fired a shot that deflected under the crossbar to level the score 1-1.
Phoenix took the lead when Melia’s errant pass to Ilie was intercepted by Calistri who chipped the ball over a sliding Melia. SKC kept up the pressure but was unable to generate enough chances to make it level again.
SKC plays again in Visit Tucson Sun Cup action Saturday against the New York Red Bulls.
Sporting Kansas City: Richard Sanchez (Tim Melia 46); Jaylin Lindsey (Graham Zusi 60), Botond Barath (Roberto Puncec 60), Graham Smith (Kaveh Rad* 46, Matt Besler 60), Amadou Dia (Luis Martins 60); Camden Riley* (Ilie Sanchez 60), Jake Davis** (Roger Espinoza 60), Cameron Duke (Gadi Kinda 60); Johnny Russell (Khiry Shelton 60), Erik Hurtado (Alan Pulido 60), Gerso Fernandes (Daniel Salloi 60)
* Under contract with Sporting KC II
** Member of Sporting KC Academy
Phoenix Rising FC: Eric Dick; Austin Ledbetter (Darnell King 73), Joey Farrell (Corey Whelan 46), AJ Cochran, Kyle Bjornethun (Owusu-Ansah Kontoh 73); Jordan Schweitzer (Kevon Lambert 73), Jose Aguinaga (Jon Bakero 73), Joey Calistri; Solomon Asante (Santi Moar 46), Lagos Kunga (Denis Conteh 31), Junior Flemmings (Rufat Dadashov 73)
SKC - Johnny Russell (Jaylin Lindsey) 56’
PHX - Santi Moar (Joey Calistri) 66’
PHX - Joey Calistri (unassisted) 78’