Didier Drogba converted a penalty kick for Phoenix. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
TUCSON, Ariz. – Even with Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra lineup, the Red Bulls still could not overcome Phoenix Rising FC in their final game of the Mobile Mimi Sun Cup, 2-1. Saturday night.
Kaku saw 57 minutes, starting at the traditional number 10 position in the middle as the Red Bulls began in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Facing the host side for the second time in two weeks, New York, essentially Red Bulls II with Kaku, came out with energy and familiarity against the USL side’s style of play.
With the game four minutes old, the Red Bulls earned a free kick just outside the Phoenix penalty area. Kaku took it and sent it over the wall but it was saved right into the keeper’s hands.
Ben Mines was the recipient of a right-footed looping ball from Kaku over the top of the defense in the 16th minute. His run ended in a kick save from Phoenix’s keeper.
Phoenix opened the scoring in the 28th minute, executing a counterattack to perfection off a Red Bulls corner kick.
They would double that lead in the 54th minute as the head referee called a handball in favor of Phoenix. Didier Drogba converted the penalty, catching goalkeeper James Hickok diving the wrong way.
Three minutes later Kaku came off as a substitute for Jose Aguinaga.
In the 65th minute, the Red Bulls pulled a goal. coming from a Brian White chip received from Amando Moreno.
PHX: Asante 28′
PHX: Drogba (PK) 54′
NY: White 65′
New York: Louro (Hickok, 45′); Stevens (De Vera, 61′), Politz, Scarlett, Bailon (Duncan, 69′); Echevarria, Tinari (Murphy, 76′); Moreno (Jones, 83′), R. Gamarra (Aguinaga, 57′), Mines (Bonomo, 86′); White