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Phoenix Rising wins again, moves on to USL Western Conference Finals

Posted at 10:40 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-28 00:14:14-04

Behind yet another record turnout, Phoenix Rising FC avenged last year's playoff defeat and moved on to the Western Conference Finals of the United Soccer League for the first time in team history.

Four different players scored as Rising defeated Swope Park Rangers -- the team that knocked them out of last year's playoffs -- with a 4-2 victory in front of a record 7,707 fans at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. That attendance mark beat last week's record, set in Rising's 3-0 win over Portland Timbers 2, its first-ever postseason win.

Jason Johnson, Chris Cortez, Kevon Lambert and Didier Drogba all scored for No. 3 seed Phoenix Rising. Drogba, a legend in European soccer and a co-owner of the team, celebrated with fellow owner, Kona Grill CEO Berke Bakay, after he scored in stoppage time to seal the victory.

Rising will now go on the road to face top-seeded Orange County in the Western Conference Final on Saturday, Nov. 3.

Rising's playoff run comes as Major League Soccer is deciding on two cities for expansion franchises. Phoenix is one of 10 cities to place a bid for an expansion team.