Phoenix declared winner of 20th straight game after home match abandoned due to crowd trouble

Six minutes away from winning its 20th USL Championship game in a row, the Phoenix Rising had its match against LA Galaxy II abandoned after the two teams had to be removed from Casino Arizona Field for safety reasons.

After Ben Spencer scored on a rebound of Solomon Asante's shot to extend the Rising's lead to 4-1 in the 77th minute, a beer can was thrown from crowd by what the Phoenix Rising identified as a "non-Phoenix Rising supporter." At first, it appeared that LA Galaxy II goalkeeper Eric Lopez had been hit, but he was treated for being hit in the face on Asante's shot.

But as the players were headed back to their locker rooms while the game was suspended, another object was thrown from the crowd and hit Galaxy II forward Augustine Williams.

At that point, the match was abandoned and the sell-out crowd of 6,647 -- the 18th consecutive sellout at Casino Arizona Field -- sent home.

The Rising issued a statement after the game that the match had been ruled a 4-1 win in its favor, citing USL rules that "a team that has a three or more goal lead after 70 minutes of play is determined the winner, should the match be suspended for any reason."

It added that both fans were identified and have been banned from the stadium.

The Rising drew national attention for its Dollar Beer Night promotions on Friday nights that produced 14 straight wins over three seasons. Rolling beer carts distributed upwards of 20,000 cans of Bud Light sold for $1.

Following Saturday's incidents, the Rising announced it will be moving to plastic cups for future games.

4 comments about "Phoenix declared winner of 20th straight game after home match abandoned due to crowd trouble".
  1. Ahmet Guvener, September 15, 2019 at 12:53 p.m.

    So according to USL rules a team is leading 3-0 and their players attack and beat the referee at minute 80; the referee abondons the match. The leading team is still declared the winner. Seriously... Under normal circumstances elsewhere either LA Galaxy II is awarded the game or the game is either replayed or the remaining minutes is played. But this is the USA the land of American exceptionalism.

  2. David Decker, September 15, 2019 at 1:25 p.m.

    Dollar beer night?  What could possibly go wrong? 

    Have they learned nothing from baseball teams having Bat Night or the infamous Disco Demolition night at Comiskey Park in Chicago that ended in a riot?

    Stop having Sports  Management interns do your promotions.

  3. John Mcpherson replied, September 15, 2019 at 3:47 p.m.

    It was not Dollar Beer night....and the only thing that hit Eric Lopez in the face was Solomon Asante's shot that led to the 4th goal.

  4. David Decker, September 15, 2019 at 5:37 p.m.

    Oops- missed that.  But it is STILL a stupid idea.

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