Super Swirl Summary: LV 5, PHX 2

In their home finale, Lights FC sent the crowd home happy with a huge upset win.

Playing their final match of the season at Cashman Field, Las Vegas Lights FC made it a memorable night, defeated Phoenix Rising FC 5-2 in front of a reported mid-week crowd of nearly 6,000 fans.

Things did not get off to an ideal start for the home side, despite the visitors resting a lot of their usual starters. Just two minutes into the match, Collin Fernandez received a quality pass from Devin Vega and he buried the chance. Unfortunately, despite the one goal lead, Rising FC had to deal with an injury to Chris Cortez. The striker was subbed off in the 16th minute, a perfect example of why the club rested a lot of their other stars.

The Lights pulled level with a converted penalty in the 29th minute, courtesy of Juan Carlos Garcia. Penalty giveth, penalty taketh away for the Lights as Phoenix got their own shot from the spot about 15 minutes later. Vega converted it to reinstate the visitors’ lead.

With the Lights trailing by a goal, Isidro Sanchez made all three of his subs before the 70th minute, bringing on Miguel Garduno, Daigo Kobayashi, and Raul Mendiola. All of those players would play a part in an epic twenty minute stretch. In the 71st minute, Sammy Ochoa slid in a cross to Garduno, who buried the equalizer. Three minutes later, Kobayashi would force a save and Mendiola was there to knock in the rebound. The Lights leading scorer would play set-up man next, tapping a short pass in the area to captain Carlos Alvarez, who buried the club’s fourth goal of the match. The final goal was a spectacular one. Alex Mendoza crossed the ball towards Ochoa and the target man leaped and bicycled home the last goal of the season at Cashman Field.

Despite Phoenix heavily rotating their lineup, it was a massive win for Lights FC. They closed out a tumultuous season with an exclamation mark and sent the Las Vegas crowd home happy. They close out their inaugural season on the road against Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday.


Photo courtesy of L.E. Baskow/Lights FC


Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.