A late second-half stoppage-time goal from Rio Grande Valley FC defender Ivan Magalhaes robbed Phoenix Rising FC of a gutsy win on the road, and the clubs had to settle for a point each in Edinburg, Texas.
RGV tried to get on the board first with some trickeration in the 4th. A dangerous free kick opportunity was not driven toward goal, but instead squared to the top of the box. The Toros gave Rising FC a scare in the box, but Dynamo loanee Jose Escalante was whistled for a foul.
In the 6th, Phoenix midfielder Blair Gavin was unlucky not to put away a well struck corner from Shaun Wright-Phillips. His lazer shot was saved by Toros goalkeeper Borja Angoitia, but Gavin pounced on the rebound only to be denied again.
Veteran Firebird goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski was called into action in the 21st, when RGV captain Eric Bird struck a low, hard ball on goal. Woszczynski dived to his right and pushed the ball aside.
RGV continued their spate of momentum in the 24th, when Kevin Garcia stepped in front of Phoenix defender Peter Ramage to put a header just over Woszczynski’s net.
Dynamo first-round draft pick Joe Holland put a free kick over the net in the 31st after Jordan Gibbons was given a yellow card for a relatively soft tackle on Escalante.
Rising FC broke through in the 42nd, when Jason Johnson buried a penalty kick. Moments earlier, his cross caromed off the tucked elbow of RGV defender Taylor Hunter in the box.
A golden opportunity was lost in the 59th when Wright-Phillips laid a ball perfectly for Johnson in the box. Johnson moved seemingly in slow motion toward the ball – which would have put him one-on-one with Angoitia – and allowed a defender to step up and block his shot.
In the 75th Woszczynski was called on once again, Speedy Jorginho James shook his mark and ripped one directly at the big man, but it was covered without incident. “Woz” was busy moments later when he turned away shots in the 80th and 81st before the Toros’ TJ Casner finally put a shot over the net for a goal kick.
Amadou Dia was called for his second yellow of the game in the 87th for a challenge on Escalante. A minute later, RGV went for the equalizer when Todd Wharton tested Woszczynski yet again to no avail.
In the 89th, Phoenix went down one more man when newcomer Doueugui Mala was sent to the locker room for a very late challenge.
Rising FC would pay, deep in stoppage time, when Magalhaes put his header into the net after a crowded play in the box. Phoenix has now taken four points of a possible six from the first two games of this road trip.
Phoenix Rising FC (7-7-5) next travels to Irvine, Calif. on August 18 to take on Orange County SC. Rio Grande Valley FC (7-10-5) faces Vancouver Whitecaps 2 at home on August 19.