With one glancing header from a hoofed ball up the pitch, Didier Drogba made history yet again, adding another accomplishment to his long and storied career. In the 99th minute of Phoenix Rising FC’s first-ever playoff game, the Chelsea legend gave his side the lead with this unattractive but effective goal, the first in the club’s history:
Unfortunately, the goal wouldn’t hold up as Swope Park Rangers equalized 10 minutes later in the second half of extra time. Sporting Kansas City’s reserve team would prevail 4-2 on penalties, knocking Drogba’s team out of the playoffs, and before Drogba had a chance to take a penalty of his own. Still, he took defeat in stride and pointed out the positives of his first season in Phoenix.
Sad things ended this way, but so proud of my team @phxrisingfc and what we’ve achieved in such a short period of time. From building a stadium in fifty two days, the first home game, to this last playoff game today, you’ve been fantastic my People!!!!! Not even a year old in this league and teams fear us, I have to say that it is an honor to be part of this organization !!! Special thank you to the fans for their support, home and away, you guys are the best!!!! See you next season #risingasone #phxrisingfc
While questions of retirement will always be thrown around for a player of his age, from the tone of his Instagram post, it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to quit playing competitively quite yet. Drogba will turn 40 years old when the next USL season starts in March.