The Swope Park Rangers earned a 2-1 victory over San Antonio FC at Swope Soccer Village on Wednesday night. Two goals from Ayrton – including a game-winning penalty kick deep into second-half stoppage – earned the Rangers all three points as the side jumped to sixth place and a playoff position in the USL Western Conference.
The Rangers (10-9-6, 36 pts.) got off to a flying start when, in the third minute, Mark Anthony Gonzalez sprung Ayrton with a ball over the top. The 22-year-old composed himself in front of goal before slotting the ball into the bottom corner to give SPR an early 1-0 lead.
The advantage didn’t last long as San Antonio FC (9-9-7, 34 pts.) equalized in the eighth minute. Carlos Alvarez floated in a corner from the left and Fejiro Okiomah rose above the Rangers defense and headed into the top corner and make the score 1-1.
Two minutes later, Pasher darted down the left wing and whipped in a teasing cross that Kelly met at the near post, but couldn’t turn his shot on target. Kelly threatened again in the 14th minute, but couldn’t force his attempt past Matt Cardone.
The Rangers continued to pile on the pressure and Ayrton saw an effort from distance parried away by Cardone in the 21st minute. It was Mark Anthony Gonzalez’s turn to threaten a minute later as the 21-year-old rookie picked up the ball on the left wing and drove through three San Antonio challenges before sliding his low shot just wide of the net.
Both sides struggled to create clear cut opportunities early in the second half, with the first real chance falling to San Antonio in the 56th minute when Sam McBride rose highest at a corner but put his header over the bar.
In the 68th minute, Gonzalez fashioned an opening for himself when he spun his man on the edge of the area, but his strike was straight at Cardone. San Antonio substitute Franck Tayou had his side’s clearest opening in the 90th minute, but he scuffed his shot from 12 yards and Adrian Zendejas gathered.
The Rangers found their winning goal in the 94th minute. After being sprung by Tommy Meyer, Kelly beat Cardone to the ball and was fouled by Biko Brennan in the box as the two fought for position. Kelly put the ball in the back of the net moments after the referee whistled for the penalty kick. Ayrton stepped up and sent Cardone the wrong way to clinch all three points for SPR who improve to 8-3-1 at home.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Ayrton – Scored his second and third goals of the season, including a composed penalty deep into second-half stoppage time to give the Rangers all three points as the side continues its playoff push.
- The Swope Park Rangers remain at home this weekend when they take on Rio Grande Valley FC at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday, Sept. 3. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, with a live stream available on SportingKC.com and tickets available via Ticketmaster.
Swope Park Rangers vs. San Antonio FC
August 31, 2016 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 2, San Antonio FC 1
SPR – Ayrton 2 (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 3) 3’
SA – Fejiro Okiomah 2 (Carlos Alvarez 6) 8’
SPR – Ayrton 3 (Penalty Kick) 90+
SA – Biko Brennan (Yellow Card) 71’
SPR – Amer Didic (Yellow Card) 80’
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Tommy Meyer, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Tyler Pasher; Ualefi (Tomas Granitto 80’), Christian Duke ©, Alex Molano (Akeil Barrett 70’); Ayrton, Dane Kelly, Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Will Little 85’).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Ezra Armstrong, Johnny Grant, Patrick Wilkinson.
STATS: Shots 15, Shots on Goal 5, Corners 4, Fouls 13
San Antonio FC: Matt Cardone; Max Gunderson, Biko Brennan, Sam McBride, Greg Cochrane ©; Miguel Salazar, Fejiro Okiomah (Jason Johnson 62’), Carlos Alvarez, Danny Garcia (Shawn Chin 73’), Taylor Morgan (Jacques Francois 82’); Manolo Sanchez (Franck Tayou 57’).
Substitutes Not Used: Lee Johnston, Austin Dunker, Diego Garcia.
STATS: Shots 5, Shots on Goal 4, Corners 3, Fouls 10
Referee: Dule Djurasevic
Assistant Referees: Devin Blazek and Ricardo Gutierrez
Fourth Official: Kyle Armstrong
Weather: Cloudy and 78 degrees