NEW YORK, CMC – Jamaican Junior Flemmings netted his 10th goal of the season as Phoenix Rising thumped Reno 1868 FC in a top of the table clash, to stretch their lead atop the Western Conference in the United Soccer League on Friday night.
Playing at Casino Arizona Field, the 23-year-old forward opened the scoring to create the momentum as the home side ran out easy 4-2 winners, to notch their 16th win of the season and extend their winning streak to 14 games.
They moved their tally to 53 points, now nine clear of Reno in second, with Fresno FC third also on 44 points.
Flemmings was on the scoresheet as early as the 20th minute when he beat two defenders on the left and sent a firm 22-yard drive past goalkeeper Matt Bersano.
The strike gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at half-time but eight minutes after the resumption, Daniel Musovski equalized for Reno.
However, Phoenix took firm command of the contest through Solomon Asante’s penalty and Mustapha Dumbuya’s close-range finish in the space of four minutes, to lead 3-1 in the 61st minute.
Corey Hertzog pulled one back in the 74th but Phoenix proved unstoppable, scoring a fourth five minutes later through Asante, to close out the game strongly.
At Providence Park in Portland, Trinidadian defender Mekeil Williams scored as part of a fine comeback effort from visiting OKC Energy as they rebounded from 2-1 down at half-time to beat Portland Timbers 2, 4-2.
Giovanni Calixtro had given the hosts a fourth-minute lead before Christian Eissele canceled out that advantage in the 20th minute, but Ryan Sierakowski put them back in front in the 28th.
However, Williams sparked the comeback when he nodded in Rafael Garcia’s corner in the 53rd minute and Eissele and Christian Ibeagha netted goals to add the finishing touches.
OKC Energy lies seventh in the Western Conference on 33 points, one ahead of Portland on 32.