Drogba's Phoenix Rising lose USL Cup final to Louisville City in former Chelsea star's final match

The Ivorian helped lift his side to a final, but the longtime Blues star couldn’t close his career with a trophy

Didier Drogba’s illustrious career ended in defeat on Thursday night as Phoenix Rising fell to Louisville City in the USL Cup final.

A second-half goal from Louisville City’s’ Luke Spencer was just enough on Thursday night as Drogba and Phoenix fell 1-0 in the Ivorian’s final match.

Drogba scored three goals in three matches to help lead Phoenix to the final, including a stunning free kick in the team’s postseason opener.

The former Chelsea star had announced that he would retire back in March, calling an end to a career that has also seen stops at Le Mans, Guingamp, Marseille, Shanghai Shenhua, Galatasaray and the Montreal Impact.

The defeat marks the end of Drogba’s trophy-filled career, which included four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, a Super Lig crown, and, most memorably, the 2011-12 Champions League that saw the Ivorian score a late equalizer before winning the title with Cheslea in a penalty shootout. 

Drogba scored 10 goals in 14 games in his debut season in the U.S. second tier before scoring five goals in nine regular season games this campaign.

On Thursday, the first half finished level before the hosts finally broke through in the 62nd minute, firing home from a scramble in front of goal following a corner kick.

After several deflections, blocks and near-finishes, the ball finally fell to Spencer, who fired a shot into the bottom corner to give Louisville City the lead.

The victory saw Louisville City capture the team’s second consecutive league crown after topping Swope Park Rangers in the USL Cup finale in 2017.

Phoenix Rising, which counts Drogba as one of several owners, was playing in its first final.


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