Didier Drogba scores and assists on winning debut for Phoenix Rising FC
Didier Drogba enjoyed a dream debut for United Soccer League side Phoenix Rising FC -- the club he is also a part owner of -- scoring and assisting as they beat Vancouver Whitecaps.
Wearing the No. 11 shirt and the captain's armband, the former Chelsea striker headed home Amadou Dia's cross in the 40th minute.
Then, following Marcos Bustos' equaliser from the penalty spot for Vancouver, the ex-Ivory Coast international teed up former Chelsea teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips for the game's decider in the 77th minute.
"Nothing different," Drogba said when asked about his debut compared to others. "The game is still the beautiful game and I want to enjoy it, and I was enjoying today, and that's the most important thing for me."
The 39-year-old, who was last playing for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact, has missed five games since joining Phoenix as he attempted to regain his fitness.
"It took me five weeks to kind of get back in shape. I still need a few weeks to improve, but it's good to start at home," Drogba said.
Wright-Phillips added of Drogba: "Not only for me but for the players and the staff and the fans as well, I think it's very important to bring something different to the game. He also lifts up everybody and expects everyone to play to their potential, which is fantastic for the team and the club."
Phoenix head coach Patrice Carteron, also making his debut for the club, was pleased with Drogba's display.
"Most of the fans came to see him and he showed that he is still a great player," Carteron said. "I'm really happy for all of you who had the pleasure to see such a player."
Phoenix are one of a number of candidates with the aim of becoming an MLS franchise.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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