The Swope Park Rangers played to a 1-1 draw with Saint Louis FC on Sunday night at Children’s Mercy Park. Vince Cicciarelli put Saint Louis ahead in the 80th minute but Akeil Barrett, making his Rangers debut, knocked home the equalizing goal in the 89th minute as the two sides split the points and the season series 1-1-2.
The game began with a moment of contention, as referee Aaron Hernandez elected to only show a yellow card when Rangers (8-9-6, 30 pts.) midfielder Tomas Granitto was caught by Saint Louis FC’s (7-9-8, 29 pts.) James Musa with a two-footed, studs-up challenge. In the ensuing six minutes, the Rangers went close to opening the scoring through both Dane Kelly and Ayrton who shot wide and saw an effort saved, respectively.
Both sides saw speculative attempts fly off target as the half wore on, before another controversial decision in the 38th minute. Kelly sprinted through several challenges and saw his shot turned into the net by Kris Tyrpak – but he was flagged offside. Two minutes later, Tyrpak threatened again when he cut inside his man and rifled a shot on goal that Saint Louis goalkeeper Ryan Thompson was able to hold.
In additional time at the end of the first half, Musa, who had already been booked in the fourth minute, fouled Granitto and appeared to kick the downed midfielder’s head, but remained on the field as the two sides entered the halftime break scoreless.
Musa became a growing influence at the start of the second period, causing the Rangers problems with his aerial presence and going close with a header in the 51st minute.
The Rangers introduced two debutants in the second half, with Akeil Barrett – who signed for the club on Monday – replacing Ualefi to start the second half and 17-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Patrick Wilkinson coming on for Johnny Grant in the 68th minute.
The two sides continued to trade chances, with Kelly firing wide from 25 yards and Chad Bond forcing Zac Lubin into a low save at the other end. In the 79th minute, Kelly saw a golden opportunity go begging when he intercepted Thompson’s attempted clearance but could only fire over the bar from inside the area.
Saint Louis FC took the lead in the 80th minute with Vince Cicciarelli pouncing on a defensive giveaway by Tommy Meyer. The 26-year-old defender chased down a ball over the top but his attempted back pass was too short and Cicciarelli raced onto it before sliding his finish low beyond Lubin to make the score 1-0.
The Rangers pushed hard for an equalizing goal in the final 10 minutes, with Barrett and Tyrpak each going close in the immediate minutes after falling behind.
With one minute of regulation time remaining, Barrett found the equalizer. Meyer, who had moved up front with SPR in need of a goal, headed down a long ball to Kelly who played a quick one-two with Ayrton on the top of the box. Richard Dixon was able to get a foot on the ball and halt Kelly’s progress but Barrett was on hand to place the ball into the corner with two Saint Louis defenders on the line and tie the score at 1-1.
Ayrton single-handedly almost earned SPR all three points, but Thompson denied him twice from close range deep into additional time at the end of the second half as the two sides split the points and the season series.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Akeil Barrett – Made his Swope Park Rangers debut, replacing Ualefi at halftime, and scored the equalizer with an opportunist strike in the 89th minute.
- The Swope Park Rangers remain at home next weekend when they take on LA Galaxy II at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday, Aug. 27. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, with a live stream available on SportingKC.com, while tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Saint Louis FC
August 21, 2016 – Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Swope Park Rangers 1, Saint Louis FC 1
STL – Vince Cicciarelli 5 (Unassisted) 80’
SPR – Akeil Barrett 1 (Unassisted) 89’
STL – James Musa (Yellow Card) 4’
STL – Jordan Roberts (Yellow Card) 71’
SPR – Akeil Barrett (Yellow Card) 89’
Swope Park Rangers: Zac Lubin; Johnny Grant (Patrick Wilkinson 68’), Tommy Meyer, Oumar Ballo, Christian Duke ©; Ualefi (Akeil Barrett 46’), Tomas Granitto (Will Little 83’), Ayrton; Kris Tyrpak, Dane Kelly, Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Ezra Armstrong 69’).
Substitutes Not Used: Adrian Zendejas, Felipe Hernandez, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal.
STATS: Shots 15, Shots on Goal 7, Corners 7, Fouls 10
Saint Louis FC: Ryan Thompson; Richard Dixon, Sam Fink, AJ Cochran, Mitch Lurie (Tyler David 87’); Chad Bond ©, James Musa, Jordan Roberts (Patrick Doody 74’), Jamiel Hardware (Schillo Tshuma 67’), Mike Ambersley (Jacob Bushue 84’); Irvin Herrera (Vince Cicciarelli 74’).
Substitutes Not Used: Mark Pais, Colin Fernandez.
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 3, Corners 6, Fouls 12
Referee: Aaron Hernandez
Assistant Referees: Shane Kennard and Jack Feldman
Fourth Official: Daniel Ortega
Weather: Clear and 83 degrees