Tue | Sep 21, 2021

Lambert scores as Phoenix dominates opener

Published:Wednesday | May 5, 2021 | 12:23 AM

TEMPE, Arizona (CMC):

Jamaican forward Kevon Lambert scored his first goal of the new season as Phoenix Rising FC capped off a dominant display with a 4-1 thrashing of San Diego Loyal in the United Soccer League last weekend.

Playing at Casino Arizona Field in the team’s season opener, the 24-year-old found the target late on with 10 minutes left in the encounter, one of three second-half goals, after the hosts led 1-0 at half-time.

Jon Bakero had given them a 39th-minute lead before Santi Moar doubled their advantage in the 55th, and Ben Spencer halved it in the 65th after coming off the bench four minutes earlier.

Aodhan Quinn restored the two-goal cushion in the 67th minute, leaving Lambert to add the finishing touches.

The game was one of two in the Pacific Division, with Sacramento Republic FC, featuring Grenada international Kharlton Belmar, edging LA Galaxy 1-0.

Rufat Dadashov forced two saves out of goalkeeper Trey Muse in the 15th minute before Bakero handed Phoenix the lead when he tapped in a rebound from close range, after full back Ryan Flood’s long-range effort had been denied by Muse.

Moar’s goal came in similar circumstances, when Bakero’s shot was parried by Muse and he was on hand to net the rebound.

Spencer pounced from four yards after just minutes on the field to notch Loyal’s only goal, but Moar put through Quinn on the left, who scored with a thundering drive into the far corner.

Lambert joined the celebrations in the 80th, when he smashed in a volley from just outside the 18-yard box.