Hartford Athletic were able to equalize late in the first half tonight after falling down a goal early, but a dominant second half from Phoenix Rising FC shut the door on the visitors. Athletic dropped the match 3-1, losing their third straight in the USL Championship.
Hartford took an early punch in the mouth from Phoenix Rising FC in tonight’s match, conceding just five minutes into the match. Manuel Arteaga lobbed a pass from the Phoenix half that Danny Trejo chased down just across midfield. The Phoenix forward was able to outrun Niall Logue and Triston Hodge into Hartford’s box, and snuck his shot just under the arm of the charging Richard Sánchez and across the goal line. The goal came two minutes after Daniël Krutzen forced a diving save from Richard Sánchez on a free kick taken just outside Hartford’s box.
The Green and Blue generated two chances shortly after giving up the goal, as Kyle Edwards and Conor McGlynn put shots on target in the 22nd and 23rd minutes. Hartford defended for much of the half after those two shots. Richard Sánchez did well to keep the deficit at one, making three saves on shots from inside the box and giving Hartford a chance to equalize late in the half. In the 43rd minute, Antoine Hoppenot made a brilliant move to beat Eddie Munjoma into the box and the Phoenix defender tripped Hoppenot, drawing a penalty kick for Hartford. Kyle Edwards stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty kick into the bottom right corner, tying the game at 1-1. Despite being out possessed 65.2% to 34.8% in the half, Hartford were right back in the game going into the second 45 minutes.
Phoenix started to plant their flag in the Hartford final third about 15 minutes into the second half. In the 62nd minute, a corner kick fell to Carlos Harvey in the box and his shot went above the crossbar. Two minutes later, Kevon Lambert forced a save from Sánchez on a well-struck shot from the top right of the box, and Alejandro Fuenmayor hit the crossbar with a shot in the 65th minute.
The home side continued to knock on the door and broke through to take the lead after a costly mistake on the ball from Hartford. After a corner kick bounced out of the Phoenix box, Matt Sheldon misplayed a ball and fell down with no reinforcements behind him. He was dispossessed by Carlos Harvey, and the Phoenix midfielder had nothing but open field in front of him. He scampered all the way to the Hartford box for a one-on-one chance with RIchard Sánchez, and beat the keeper between his legs.
Rising FC stayed in control, scoring again in the 81st minute. Manuel Arteaga received a headed pass from Danny Trejo right at the goal line, and powered the ball past Richard Sánchez. The score would stay the same the rest of the way, ending in a 3-1 final to Phoenix Rising FC.
Hartford totaled five shots and put four on target, but had just 10 touches inside Phoenix’s box. Sánchez had his busiest night of the season in net, making five saves. The goal from Edwards was his second of the season. The Green and Blue fall to 1-6-2 and return home to face Loudoun United FC next Saturday, May 20th. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 5 (4) Phoenix 19 (8)
Corners: Hartford 8 Phoenix 3
Fouls: Hartford 11 Phoenix 9
Offsides: Hartford 4 Phoenix 1
Possession: Hartford 34.2% Phoenix 65.8%
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 78% Phoenix 90.5%
Saves: Hartford 5 Phoenix 3
5′ – Trejo (Arteaga)
44′ – Edwards
73′ – Harvey
81′ – Arteaga (Trejo)
2′ – Logue (Yellow)
10′ – Njie (Yellow)
17′ – Sheldon (Yellow)
19′ – McGlynn (Yellow)
61′ – Hodge (Yellow)
70′ – Zambrano (Yellow)
80′ – Barrera (Yellow)
84′ – Lambert (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP
1 (GK) Richard Sánchez, 50 (DF) Niall Logue, 3 (DF) Kaveh Rad (Lapert, 15′); 28 (MF) Conor McGlynn, 5 (DF) Triston Hodge (Edwards, 45′); 16 (DF) Matt Sheldon, 77 (MF) Andre Lewis (Barrera, 66′); 29 (FW) Antoine Hoppenot, 8 (MF) Juan Pablo Torres, 17 (FW) Kyle Edwards, 7 (FW) Prince Saydee
PHOENIX RISING FC STARTING LINEUP
1 (GK) Rocco Rios Novo, 27 (MF) Kevon Lambert, 4 (DF) Daniel Krutzen, 30 (DF) Alejandro Fuenmayor, 6 (DF) Baboucarr Njie (King, 45′); 23 (DF) Eddie Munjoma, 26 (MF) Renzo Zambrano, 10 (MF) Fede Varela (Hernández, 67′); 17 (FW) Danny Trejo (Mullins, 91′); 9 (FW) Manuel Arteaga