SCOTTSDALE -- Phoenix Rising FC got back on the winning track with a 3-1 victory over El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night at Casino Arizona Field.
The Rising fell down a goal early in the match after El Paso's Aaron Gomez tucked the ball into the left side of the net off an assist from Dylan Mares. Phoenix goalkeeper Eric Dick, making his Rising debut, managed to get a hand on Gomez's attempt but the shot still rolled into the goal.
A few minutes later, Phoenix equalized when a penalty was called on El Paso's defense. Junior Flemmings slotted a ball to Sam Stanton, who was tripped up inside the 18-yard box. Phoenix's Rufat Dadashov did the honors, calmly kicking the ball to the right as EP keeper Logan Ketterer went left. After 20 minutes, the match was tied 1-1.
That's when the Phoenix Rising offense got just about as hot as the 108-degree temperature on the pitch.
Dadashov delivered a perfect pass to league MVP and Rising captain Solomon Asante. "Solo" did the rest, blasting a laser from about 15 yards into the far-side netting past a diving Ketterer.
Phoenix was not done before the halftime break. Flemmings collected a ball in the left corner and deked past two defenders before lacing a drive through traffic and over Ketterer's shoulder to give Phoenix Rising a 3-1 lead.
The highlight-reel effort was Flemmings' fourth tally of the season, tying Asante and Dadashov for the team lead.
Phoenix's defense held the lead and Dick made a handful of solid saves to keep the Locomotive off track in the second half.
The win moved Phoenix Rising to 3-1-1, with 10 points and into second place in the USL Championship Group B standings. El Paso fell to 1-2-2 but still holds down second place in Group C.
Phoenix Rising next hosts rival New Mexico United (3-1-1) on Saturday, Aug. 8. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm. at Casino Arizona Field. Fans are still not allowed in the stands but the game will be broadcast on CW61 television and streamed on ESPN+ and the ABC15 app. An audio broadcast can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.