Didier Drogba scored on his Phoenix Rising debut and dedicated the win to his former Ivory Coast team-mate Cheick Tiote, who died on Monday aged 30.

The former Chelsea striker got the 40th-minute opener as the American club he captains and co-owns beat Whitecaps FC II 2-1.

Ex-Newcastle midfielder Tiote died after collapsing in training in China.

“I want to want dedicate this to Cheick Tiote who passed away doing what he loved,” Drogba, 39, wrote on Instagram.

“My thoughts and condolences go out to his family, the Ivory Coast and the whole of Africa, mourning the passing of one of their own.”

Previously known as Arizona United, Phoenix hope to become one of four planned expansion teams in the MLS over the next three years.

They are in their fourth season in the Western Conference of the United Soccer League, which features several MLS reserve sides.


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