Phoenix Rising hosted their new NISA neighbors, Valley United FC, this evening in Chandler, Ariz. in the Second Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It took almost two hours of play to determine a winner, dramatically provided by Claudio Repetto in the 115th minute.
Phoenix Rising held on for a 1-0 extra time win, which was the club’s first home win in Open Cup play since their inaugural season in 2014. The win snapped a five-game home winless streak and a three-game overall winless streak in the tournament. Rising’s last two trips to the Open Cup both ended in penalty kick losses (2018 at Sporting AZ FC; 2019 home vs. New Mexico United)
The NISA West leaders, United, started very compact but grew into the game as the first half wore on, creating a couple of good chances. Phoenix had eight first half corners, seven of them in the first 17 minutes. Ryan Flood would prove the biggest problem for Valley. Flood won three free kicks in the first half, and two more in the second half.
The second half got very physical as Valley United would have three players booked in the span of seven minutes early on. Aodhan Quinn would also add to Valley’s woes, stepping up his contributions in the second half. Claudio Repetto, an offseason acquisition from the Charleston Battery, would replace Richmond Antwi in the 61st minute.
The game would change in the 81st minute when Valley would go a man down when Sebastián Contreras would see yellow for a second time in a half hour. His foul on Ryan Flood, put Valley in an even more defensive stance. After this, Phoenix would again boss the game.
The final minute plus stoppage time would see no fewer than four fouls and a Phoenix yellow card as Rising took control.
“They sat back a bit, and it kind of took us a bit to break them down,” said Phoenix defender Darnell King.
Extra time almost exclusively belonged to Phoenix. Repetto would have a great shot to the upper 90 saved by Javier Olmedo in the 91st minute, followed by a great opportunity by a Luis Seijas free kick in the 96th nearly broke the deadlock but sailed just wide.
In the 110th minute, Arturo Rodriguez would have his right-footed shot saved by Olmedo. Darnell King would put a dangerous header on goal in the 115th, the blocked ball found its way to Repetto and he coolly hit to the bottom left corner to put the home side in front. The remaining five minutes would see the Valley side step up, but it was too little, too late.
CLAUDIO REPETTO STRAIGHT IN THE CORNER!
— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) April 7, 2022
Phoenix Head Coach, Rick Schantz, “Credit to Valley United. They fought; they were very organized,” said Phoenix head coach Rick Schantz. “They made it difficult, and we made it worse by playing with no energy, no tempo.”
Phoenix advance to the Third Round for the first time since 2017 and will learn their opponent when the Round 3 draw is announced on Friday at Noon ET.