The Swope Park Rangers played to a 1-1 draw with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Wednesday night at Switchbacks Stadium. After falling behind in the 61st minute to a goal from Mike Seth, substitute Alex Molano stepped up to curl home a magnificent free kick deep into second-half stoppage time.
The Rangers (6-8-4, 22 pts.) and the Switchbacks (9-5-4, 31 pts.) both sought to take control of the game in the early stages, but it was Colorado Springs that created the better chances. In the ninth minute, Miguel Gonzalez was awarded an open look at goal from 15 yards, but he side-footed his effort wide.
The Rangers hit back following that chance, with Tyler Pasher sending in a dangerous low cross that Kris Tyrpak was inches from slotting in while SPR debutant Emmanuel Appiah saw a shot from the edge of the area blocked after a strong period of possession.
In the 22nd minute, Kevin Ellis drove forward from the back deep into Colorado Springs territory and slipped a ball through for Ever Alvarado, but his cross was headed over the bar by Tyrpak.
The Switchbacks went closest to opening the scoring in the first half when, in the 32nd minute, Saeed Robinson dribbled through several challenges and teed up Conor Doyle whose shot was smothered by Alec Kann, before Robinson slammed the rebound against the crossbar as the half finished goalless.
The second half began much like the first with both sides looking to take charge early. In the 50th minute, SPR went close when Ualefi sent in a cross that Ellis got his head to, but Switchbacks goalkeeper Devala Gorrick was able to get enough on the ball to keep it out.
Colorado Springs went close four minutes later when Gonzalez picked up a loose ball on the top of the area, but could only send his powerful drive wide. Gonzalez was afforded another glorious opportunity in the 59th minute but hit the side-netting with only Alec Kann to beat.
In the 61st minute, the Switchbacks took the lead. After receiving a pass from Gonzalez, Mike Seth turned Amer Didic and dribbled away from Chance Myers before slamming a low shot into the bottom corner to put the home side up 1-0.
The Rangers threw numbers forward in search of an equalizer late in the game, which allowed the Switchbacks to counter – with both Saeed Robinson and Aaron King wasting open opportunities to open up a two-goal cushion for the hosts.
In the fifth minute of added time at the end of the second half, SPR found their equalizer. After Ayrton was brought down on the edge of the Colorado Springs area, fellow substitute Alex Molano curled the ball into the top corner to make the final score 1-1 and bring the Rangers to one place outside of the playoff spots.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Alex Molano – Came off the bench and scored his first goal for the club with a stunning 95th-minute free kick to earn SPR an important point on the road.
- The Swope Park Rangers return home this weekend to host Orange County Blues FC at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday, July 23. The Rangers will be hosting Pokémon at the Park during that game, with Pokémon GO users encouraged to arrive early for a guided Pokémon hunt. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and a live stream will be available on SportingKC.com, while tickets are available here.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
July 20, 2016 – Switchbacks Stadium (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Swope Park Rangers 1, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1
COS – Mike Seth 5 (Miguel Gonzalez 2) 61’
SPR – Alex Molano 1 (Unassisted) 90+
SPR – Chance Myers (Yellow Card) 34’
COS – Josh Suggs (Yellow Card) 37’
SPR – Ever Alvarado (Yellow Card) 68’
COS – Miguel Gonzalez (Yellow Card) 70’
SPR – Kris Tyrpak (Yellow Card) 72’
SPR – Alex Molano (Yellow Card) 84’
Swope Park Rangers: Alec Kann; Chance Myers, Amer Didic, Kevin Ellis, Ever Alvarado (Johnny Grant 69’); Ualefi, Christian Duke © (Alex Molano 82’), Emmanuel Appiah (Ayrton 64’); Kris Tyrpak, Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Dane Kelly 60’), Tyler Pasher.
Substitutes Not Used: Adrian Zendejas, Tommy Meyer.
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 4, Corners 4, Fouls 8
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: Devala Gorrick, Jordan Burt, Christian Ibeagha, Joe Greenspan, Josh Suggs; Rony Argueta, Mike Seth (Aaron King 83’), Luke Vercollone © (Taeseong Kim 90+); Conor Doyle, Saeed Robinson (Martin Maybin 89’), Miguel Gonzalez (David Armstrong 76’).
Substitutes Not Used: William Thompson, JJ Greer, Taewoo Kim.
STATS: Shots 12, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 1, Fouls 8
Referee: Chipalo Street
Assistant Referees: Justin Fillmore and Chris Greer
Fourth Official: Adam Finney
Weather: Cloudy and 81 degrees