Las Vegas Lights FC opened their 2022 home slate with a tough match, against perennial contender Phoenix Rising FC, but it was the home side that came out the winner on Saturday, with Las Vegas posting a 2-1 win at Cashman Field.
A week after opening the season with a 2-0 road loss at New Mexico United, Las Vegas put together a smart 90-minute shift and were good value for their win over Phoenix.
Danny Trejo opened his account for 2022 with a well-taken goal just 12 minutes in, as he took a nice no-look pass from Cal Jennings and put the shot away.
Las Vegas got the important insurance tally, in the 68th minute courtesy of Alvaro Quezada, taking the feed from Frank Daroma and dribbling through to find his spot to shoot.
The job wasn’t done, with Phoenix trying to mount a comeback and finding a goal in the 77th minute through Claudio Repetto.
But Lights FC held firm and major credit to them. They were the only home team seen as underdogs this weekend around the USL Championship and they thoroughly deserved the win. Not only were they sharper throughout, they played a smart game on both sides of the ball. Last year, we saw most of this same Las Vegas team put together 10 or 20 minutes of good play, and then collapse like a house of cards, again and again.
Several players currently under contract at LAFC featured for Lights FC in this game: Tomas Romero, Mohamed Traore, Tony Leone, Danny Musovski and Jennings started, while Julian Gaines and Christian Torres came off the bench.
The victory is the first for new Las Vegas head coach Enrique Duran, and hopefully he can help this team play more mature performances like this on the regular in 2022. If so, some of the players involved may make a big jump up in their development, and hopefully we’ll see some more victories from this team this season.
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