USL Championship: Phoenix Rising survives shootout to advance

The Phoenix Rising, the USL Championship's 2019 Supporters' Shield winner, survived a nine-round shootout to beat Austin and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Austin goalkeeper Diego Restrepo made five saves to hold the Rising to a 0-0 tie before it won 8-7 on penalty kicks.

Neco Bretttied a club record with four goals to lead the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the Eastern Conference top seeds, to a 7-0 win over the Birmingham Legion for their first playoff win since 2004.



Austin and Birmingham were among three first-year teams to reach the conference quarterfinals. The only one to advance was the El Paso Locomotive, a 3-2 winner at Fresno FC with late goals by James Kiffe and Sebastian Velasquez, who played in MLS Cup 2013 for Real Salt Lake and had begun the year in South Korea with Suwon FC.

Besides El Paso, the only other team that won on the road was Sac Republic FC, a 3-1 winner at Reno.

Louisville City remained alive in its bid for a third straight USL championship with a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay on pair of goals by Magnus Rasmussen 76 seconds apart.



Nashville SC, which will move to MLS in 2020, won its first playoff game with a 3-1 win over Charleston.

Also advancing were Indy Eleven, which beat the New York Red Bulls II, 1-0, and the Real Monarchs, who crushed Orange County SC, 6-2.

The Red Bulls II started two players -- Rece Buckmaster and Tom Barlow -- who started for the Red Bulls' first team in its MLS playoff game last weekend.

The Real Monarchs are the only MLS second team that's still alive in the playoffs. Their starting goalkeeper is U.S. U-20 keeper David Ochoa.

Eastern Conference Semifinals
Saturday, November 2
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 4 Louisville City, 7 p.m. ET
No. 2 Nashville SC vs. No. 3 Indy Eleven, 8 p.m. ET

Western Conference Semifinals
Friday, November 1
No. 1 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Real Monarchs, 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, November 2
No. 6 El Paso vs. No. 7 Sac Republic FC, 9:30 p.m. ET

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