Last night saw the opening match of the 2016 campaign of the Phoenix PDL side, as they competed against AFC Cleveland in the prestigious US Open Cup.
The match took place at the clubs home stadium of Deering High Schools memorial field, and despite the late kick off there was a decent following in attendance.
In what was the first game for both sides this season the early stages of the first half gave each team opportunities to settle into their rhythm & find their feet together. The best chance of the half for the Phoenix came from a cross on the left by Xahne Reid which was met at the far post by Chris Coleman, the Phoenix winger & youth coach narrowly missed out on the finish but showed signs that the Phoenix were gathering momentum.
In the 25th minute however Cleveland were awarded a corner kick that was to prove pivotal. After a cross to the back post was met by the AFC striker, his set back allowed a further cross back into the box which was met by Antonio Manfut who finished clinically.
The remainder of the game saw the Phoenix create chance after chance & in the 93rd minute of play they thought they had broken the deadlock. After a drive forward from Gui Leme the ball broke back to him from a attempted clearance by the AFC backline, his touch found an on rushing Matt Danilack who slotted home the finish.
After 2 minutes of deliberation the referee adjugded Leme to have been off side after the ball cannoned back & thus the goal did not count. Instantly after this the referee called time on the game & the Phoenix participation in this years open cup.
The Phoenix now switch their focus to league duty, as they start their PDL campaign on Saturday in Connecticut. For highlights of the game & post game interviews head over to our social media pages.