The Swope Park Rangers secured a USL Playoff berth after earning a 3-0 victory over OKC Energy FC at Taft Stadium on Sunday night. Three first-half goals in a 20-minute span from Dane Kelly, Mark Anthony Gonzalez and Tyler Pasher earned the Rangers all three points and moves the side up to fifth in the USL Western Conference.
The Rangers (12-10-6, 42 pts.) started on the front foot and Mark Anthony Gonzalez spun OKC Energy FC (10-6-12, 42 pts.) defender Cyprian Hedrick before breaking into the area in the seventh minute, before the defender tripped the rookie from behind – but the referee elected to award a corner kick rather than a penalty.
Two minutes later, Dane Kelly picked up a stray pass in the midfield and carried the ball forward before unleashing a powerful strike that Cody Laurendi was able to hold.
The Rangers took the lead in the 15th minute. Gonzalez picked up the ball 25 yards out and clipped a neat pass into the path of Kelly, and the Jamaican forward buried his effort from the edge of the area for his fifth goal of the season.
Gonzalez thought he had doubled his side’s lead in the 21st minute, but he was flagged offside after tucking home the rebound when Laurendi parried Kris Tyrpak’s shot.
The 22-year-old rookie wasn’t to be denied three minutes later when he scored his ninth goal of the season. Tyler Pasher produced a bit of skill to beat Hedrick down the left before whipping in an inch-perfect cross that Gonzalez knocked home on the stretch to make it 2-0.
SPR continued to press as Pasher twice escaped down the left but saw his final cross either cleared or evade the runners in the box.
In the 36th minute, it was Canadian winger Pasher who got his name on the scoresheet. Captain Christian Duke produced a neat turn in the midfield before sliding a pass directly into the path of Pasher who kept his composure to slot his finish beyond Laurendi for his fourth of the season to make it 3-0.
Kelly almost scored his second of the game in the 39th minute after being played through by Pasher, but Laurendi was able to block his low shot away for a corner. In first-half stoppage time, OKC had the ball in the Rangers net but the referee pulled it back for a foul on goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.
The Energy found more of a foothold in the second period, producing chances early through Danni Konig and Hedrick, but were unable to convert past Zendejas and the SPR defense.
Substitute Colin Bonner went close for the Energy in the 75th minute, before Cuevas had a shot deflected over two minutes later. Michael Thomas spurned OKC’s best opportunity when he placed an open header wide in the 84th minute as the Rangers saw out their second consecutive 3-0 win and move up to fifth in the Western Conference.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Mark Anthony Gonzalez – The 22-year-old rookie claimed his ninth goal of the season with a neat finish in the 24th minute having already tallied the game-winning assist on Dane Kelly’s 15th-minute strike.
- The Swope Park Rangers remain on the road as the side heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma to face Tulsa Roughnecks FC at ONEOK Field on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, with a live stream available on SportingKC.com.
Swope Park Rangers vs. OKC Energy FC
September 18, 2016 – Taft Stadium (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Swope Park Rangers 3, OKC Energy FC 0
SPR – Dane Kelly 5 (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 4) 15’
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez 9 (Tyler Pasher 1) 24’
SPR – Tyler Pasher 4 (Christian Duke 1) 36’
SPR – Kris Tyrpak (Yellow Card) 42’
SPR – Adrian Zendejas (Yellow Card) 45+
OKC – Cyprian Hedrick (Yellow Card) 58’
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Tommy Meyer, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Ever Alvarado; Ualefi (Tomas Granitto 88’), Christian Duke ©, Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Emmanuel Appiah 62’); Kris Tyrpak (Johnny Grant 83’), Dane Kelly (Akeil Barrett 79’), Tyler Pasher (Nansel Selbol 86’).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Alex Molano.
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Goal 6, Corners 3, Fouls 9
OKC Energy FC: Cody Laurendi; Daniel Gonzalez (Michael Harris 46’), Cyprian Hedrick, Coady Andrews, Kalen Ryden (Wojciech Wojcik 46’); Linus Olsson (Chiva Cuevas 46’), Michael Byskov, Michael Thomas, Kyle Hyland; Andy Craven (Timo Pitter 46’), Danni Konig (Colin Bonner 72’).
Substitutes Not Used: CJ Cochran, Luis Martinez.
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Goal 0, Corners 5, Fouls 7
Referee: Matt Trotter
Assistant Referees: Blake Fraley and Eric Bares
Fourth Official: Lance Stewart
Weather: Clear and 88 degrees