Phoenix Rising FC secures playoff spot with win over Tacoma
Phoenix Rising FC is going to the playoffs.
That's unlikely a surprise to anyone who follows the the team, but Rising (17-3-5, 56 points) took care of the technical issue of officially qualifying for the 2021 postseason with a 2-1 win at Tacoma Defiance Saturday night.
In typical Rising fashion, the outcome was uncertain until Santi Moar scored the game-winner in the 90th minute, his sixth-consecutive match with a goal.
Moar's goal came on Rising’s ninth corner kick of the evening, a loose ball off of Kevon Lambert that Moar secured the ball with his thigh before volleying a shot through a crowd and off a Tacoma defender into the net.
Rising outshot Tacoma 10-1 in the first half but were unable to break down the Defiance’s defensive formation through the first 45 minutes of play despite having a steep, 73-27 advantage in possession.
Rising's Jon Bakero scored the team's first goal off a Darnell King cross in the 78th minute.
The 1-0 lead didn't last long.
Tacoma's Samuel Adeniran leveled the game off a long ball up the left flank. Phoenix goalie Andre Rawls charged off his line to clear the ball but came up empty, leaving Adeniran to collect the lose ball and deposit it into the empty net.
Rising are peaking at the right time. The win was their sixth straight since a stunning 3-1 home loss to Oakland on Aug. 25.
With seven games left in the regular season and a 16-point lead over San Diego in the USL Championship Pacific Division, the next objective for the team will be securing another division title.
Next up for Rising is a 7:30 p.m. Wednesday match against LA Galaxy II in Los Angeles.