Ghana International winger Solomon Asante led the way for Phoenix Rising Stars FC with a goal and three assists in their emphatic win in the United States League against LA Galaxy II.
Striker Rufat Dadashov and David Egbo also found the back of the net for Phoenix, who are now leading the Pacific Division table with 26 points.
The diminutive winger Asante, won a free kick at the top of the right area for Rising in the 18th minute of the match. Slightly off center to the right side and 20-yards from goal, Asante and Aodhan Quinn stood over the ball before the captain curled a shot over the wall and beyond the reach of LA Galaxy II goalkeeper Eric Lopez. Unfortunately for Asante, the attempt cracked off the woodwork and was ushered away from danger by a defender.
Asante earned another set piece for Phoenix in the 33rd minute. Quinn stepped in to curl a left-footed ball to the back post, where Kevon Lambert rose above everyone in the goal area to nod a pass back into the center of the six-yard box as James Musa found himself alone and redirected a header past Lopez to make it 1-0.
Asante got his name on the score sheet for the Red and Blacks with a tap-in to make it 2-0 in the 40th minute when Rufat Dadashov held up the ball in the left corner of the box near the end line. Phoenix’s No. 9 drew multiple defenders while the former TP Mazembe player slipped in at the back post unnoticed.
Dadashov made a brilliant pass to the center to the two-time defending league MVP, who tapped a low shot into the corner for his team to take his goal tally to eighth this season.
Few seconds later, Joe Farrell got back defensively to save a shot off Rising’s goal line to preserve their two-goal advantage. Back at the opposite end, Asante returned the favor to Dadashov with a pinpoint pass to the wide-open striker in the 45th minute. The quick counterattack took Galaxy II defenders unawares and helpless as Dadashov made it 3-0 just before the halftime whistle.
Asante, 30, picked up his second assist of the match in the 78th minute when substitute David Egbo run free at the far post to connect to Asante’s long 35-yard cross at the back post with a diving header past Lopez to make it 4-0.
Egbo scored his second after Asante poked a pass forward into the space between Lopez and the last LA defender in the 90th minute. Egbo beat Lopez to the ball by a step, pushed the ball into space behind the goalkeeper and was in alone on goal with 50 yards to transverse.
The forward tapped the ball a few feet from goal before firing a hard shot into the empty net to finish the match, 5-0, in favor of Rising.
Solomon Asante has now been involved 14 goals in 12 matches for the league leaders with eight goals and six assists.