Originally published Monday, June 12, 2017 at 05:55a.m.
PHOENIX – Didier Drogba scored the opening goal and then set up Shawn Wright-Philips on the game-winner in an exhilarating 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Drogba made his club debut in front of 7,062 fans.
“It always feels good to score a goal and it’s nice to make history, but that’s not the most important for me,” Drogba said. “It’s still the game, it’s still the beautiful game and I wanted to enjoy it and I was enjoying it today and that’s the most important part.”
Phoenix generated a flurry of chances early and often in the first half before Drogba finally broke through in the 40th minute. After hitting the post twice earlier in the game, Drogba headed an Amadou Dia cross past Whitecaps FC 2 goalie Sean Melvin and into the net to put Rising FC ahead just before halftime.
Ex-Chelsea teammates Drogba and Wright-Philips rekindled their partnership in the 77th minute. Drogba put Wright-Philips through on goal with a well-placed pass from the middle of the pitch and the Phoenix Rising midfielder fired a low shot to the keeper’s right and into the far right side of the net.