PORTSMOUTH, NH - A damp evening of rain showers welcomed fans and both teams as they took to the field for the third meeting of the season between the visiting GPS Portland Phoenix and hosts Seacoast United Phantoms at Portsmouth High School.
With the Phantoms struggling to score goals as of late, head coach Iain Scott still had high hopes heading into this match as his squad controlled the majority of possession the last time the two teams played just 12 days ago despite a 1-0 loss.
The Phantoms would be tested early, with Phoenix hitting the crossbar in the opening minute, and goalkeeper Gio Sinclair forced into making a save in a 1v1 situation just 4 minutes in. Phoenix would finally get on the scoreboard in the 18th minute off a Cau Dasilva header from a corner kick.
The two teams traded a handful of scoring chances as the half continued and play took on a more physical tone just before halftime.
As the 2nd half opened, the Phantoms looked to have the momentum forcing Portland’s keeper Ollie Blum to make a great save off a header, followed by near misses by Donovan Faydherbe De Maudave and Joey Barima.
Phantoms striker Eddie Jones was a handful for the Phoenix defense through the first 60 minutes, utilizing his speed & strength to create chances for the home side before being replaced by Thomas Moody. Making another offensive substitution in the 73rd minute, defender Jordan Thomas was replaced by midfielder Jimmy Petruccelli.
Similar to the closing minutes of the first half, tempers grew heated with a rougher atmosphere as the game clock approached the 90 minute mark. Phoenix were able to hold off the Phantoms once again as they pressed to find scoring opportunities, taking the 1-0 victory. Portland takes the season series with 2 wins and a tie, though only separated by a combined score of 2-0 through three matches and 270 minutes of play.
The Seacoast United Phantoms return to Portsmouth on Sunday evening June 16th for a 7pm kickoff against CFC Azul (CT). Admission is free for all children ages 18 and under, and just $5 for adults. Follow the Phantoms all season long at www.seacoastunited.com/phantoms
and on Twitter at @susc_phantoms