The Swope Park Rangers earned a 2-1 victory over San Antonio FC at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday night. After falling behind to a first-half strike from Michael Reed, the Rangers rallied behind goals from Dane Kelly and Mark Anthony Gonzalez to extend their unbeaten streak to three games.
The Rangers (8-8-4, 28 pts.) were the first to threaten when, in the 13th minute, Nansel Selbol beat his man down the left and saw a low cross deflected on frame, but San Antonio (6-7-6, 24 pts.) goalkeeper Matt Cardone was able to gather the ball with Gonzalez lurking.
Eight minutes later, Alex Molano stepped up to take a free kick from 25 yards and curled an attempt around the wall that Cardone sprawled out to his left to save. In the 26th minute, SPR broke quickly and Kris Tyrpak sent a cross to Gonzalez whose effort was blocked, before Selbol saw his follow-up shot also deflected away.
Somewhat against the run of play, San Antonio took the lead in the 30th minute. After the Rangers failed to clear a free kick, the ball was recycled and Danny Garcia found Reed in the area and his shot went in off Zac Lubin’s leg to put the visitors 1-0 up.
San Antonio continued pushing before the break, and Taylor Morgan fired over from inside the area in the 37th minute – which would end up being San Antonio’s final shot of the game. Just before halftime, Oumar Ballo headed Molano’s corner on goal at the near post, but Cardone was able to scramble the ball clear as SAFC went into the break holding a one-goal lead.
After controlling much of the play in the second half, the Rangers finally found the breakthrough in the 71st minute. Two substitutes combined as Ayrton curled in a left-footed cross that Dane Kelly nodded into the back of the net via the crossbar for his third goal of the season and second in as many games. With the assist, Ayrton now has three assists in his last two games and is in a tie for second on the team.
The Rangers kept pushing and Ayrton saw a free kick parried away by Cardone in the 77th minute before Gonzalez had a shot cleared off the line after excellent service from Tyler Pasher.
The game-winning goal arrived in the 84th minute, with Gonzalez knocking home his seventh goal of the season. Tommy Meyer whipped in a cross from the right that Pasher redirected on target, only for Cardone to make a stunning save. The ball fell to Gonzalez a yard out and the side’s leading scorer made no mistake, tapping in his second game-winner of the season.
The Rangers spent the rest of the game soaking up pressure and hitting on the counter, with Gonzalez, Ayrton and Kelly each going close before the final whistle but were unable to add to SPR’s lead as the game finished 2-1 and pushed the side’s unbeaten streak to three games.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Mark Anthony Gonzalez – Scored the game-winning goal with his seventh strike of the season in the 84th minute, while the rookie also led the team in shots (4) and shots on goal (3).
- The Swope Park Rangers hit the road this week for two regional matchups against Saint Louis FC on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at WWT Soccer Park, and Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday, Aug. 6 at ONEOK Field. Kickoff for those games is set for 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. CT, respectively, with a live stream available on SportingKC.com.
Swope Park Rangers vs. San Antonio FC
July 30, 2016 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 2, San Antonio FC 1
SA – Michael Reed 3 (Danny Garcia 1) 30’
SPR – Dane Kelly 3 (Ayrton 3) 71’
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez 7 (Unassisted) 84’
SPR – Ualefi (Yellow Card) 3’
SPR – Ever Alvarado (Yellow Card) 48’
SA – Jason Johnson (Yellow Card) 65’
SA – Biko Brennan (Yellow Card) 76’
Swope Park Rangers: Zac Lubin; Tommy Meyer, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Ever Alvarado; Ualefi, Christian Duke ©, Alex Molano (Ayrton 53’); Kris Tyrpak (Tyler Pasher 57’), Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Tomas Granitto 90+), Nansel Selbol (Dane Kelly 63’).
Substitutes Not Used: Adrian Zendejas, Johnny Grant.
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Goal 11, Corners 3, Fouls 15
San Antonio FC: Matt Cardone; Milton Palacios, Sam McBride, Biko Brennan, Greg Cochrane; Miguel Salazar (Manolo Sanchez 86’), Carlos Alvarez, Danny Garcia (Franck Tayou 62’), Michael Reed © (Sebastien Thuriere 46’), Taylor Morgan (Jason Johnson 57’); Cesar Elizondo (Max Gunderson 80’).
Substitutes Not Used: Lee Johnston, Stephen McCarthy.
STATS: Shots 2, Shots on Goal 1, Corners 5, Fouls 16
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Kieso and Matthew Seem
Fourth Official: Joseph Macht
Weather: Clear and 82 degrees