Phoenix FC holds on for draw against Pittsburgh

TEMPE, Ariz. — Donny Toia’s 11th-minute strike from 25 yards out was Phoenix FC’s only goal Friday night, but it held up in a 1-1 draw with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.

It was Toia’s first goal of the season as Phoenix FC (2-3-2) earned its eighth point through seven matches.

The Wolves got goalkeeper Andrew Weber and center Renan Boufleur back from red-card suspensions the previous week. Weber saved five shots but couldn’t stop a deflection in the 79th minute by the Riverhounds’ Andrew Marshall that tied the score.

Toia, who had played outside defender in recent matches, was moved up to attacker in Friday’s match but was all over the pitch, creating scoring chances and playing back to defend runs.

The 40th minute saw Weber make a fully extended kick save of a shot by Pittsburgh’s Jhonny Arteaga.

With the game tied in the late minutes, Phoenix FC got a late push in its bid to net the winner. Midfielder Diego Faria had a shot in the 87th minute
after a run from Anthony Obodai but couldn’t get it through.

Cameron Vickers, who came on as a late substitute, had a shot go just wide in extra time of the second half.

Goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap stopped six shots for the Riverhounds.

Phoenix FC heads east for its next two matches, the first next Thursday at Pittsburgh in a return match and the second May 11 against the Dayton Dutch Lions.