The Swope Park Rangers advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals of the USL Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy II at Swope Soccer Village on Friday night. Kris Tyrpak put the Rangers ahead before Mark Anthony Gonzalez tallied twice in stoppage time. SPR will face the winner of tomorrow’s Sacramento Republic FC vs. Orange County Blues FC showdown.
It was the Rangers who created the early opportunities, with Ever Alvarado’s cross-shot almost catching out Clement Diop in the LA goal before captain Christian Duke was unable to turn home Dane Kelly’s powerful cross.
As Alvarado and Adonis Amaya chased down a loose ball in the ninth minute, the LA forward swung his arm into the back of Alvarado’s head and earned himself the first of five bookings for LA in the contest – while the Rangers were not cautioned once.
Four minutes later, Ayrton whipped in a corner from the left and Kris Tyrpak saw his headed attempt flash narrowly wide. Jaime Villarreal had LA’s first opportunity in the 22nd minute but his shot from the edge of the area bounced off target.
LA built off that chance and began to take the ascendancy as the first half wore on. Just a minute later, Ariel Lassiter escaped behind the Rangers defense but goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas made a diving save to deny the LA forward. Amer Didic and Oumar Ballo each made important defensive interventions in the minutes that followed as Galaxy II looked to pile on the pressure.
Lassiter threatened again in the 41st minute but Zendejas got down well to deny his long-range attempt. The Rangers would have the final chance of the half, but Tyrpak just couldn’t pull the trigger after being set up by Ayrton in the box.
The second half began with controversy as Tyrpak was tripped inside the LA area, but referee Guido Gonzales Jr. elected to play on. Moments later, Pasher sent in a low cross toward Kelly, but the Jamaican was just unable to get his foot on the ball from close range.
Ualefi was the next SPR player to put his body on the line to deny Galaxy II, flinging himself at a shot from 12 yards out to halt an open look at goal for LA. In the 53rd minute, Kelly played Tyrpak into the area but Jeffrey Payeras stopped him in his tracks with a last-ditch sliding challenge.
The Rangers went up a man in the 65th minute when Jose Villarreal was shown his second yellow card for throwing an elbow into Tommy Meyer, having already been booked for a tough challenge on Alvarado in the first half.
SPR took control of the game from that moment and eventually found their breakthrough in the 76th minute. After his first cross was blocked, Pasher stood up a ball to the back post where Tyrpak planted a header into the side netting to make the score 1-0.
Kelly almost doubled the lead in the 82nd minute but was unable to force home Pasher’s low cross. Four minutes later, Alvarado saw his shot across goal cleared by an LA defender with Gonzalez ready to tap the ball home.
The Rangers found their second goal in stoppage time through substitute Mark Anthony Gonzalez. With LA pouring numbers forward, SPR hit on the break and Emmanuel Appiah released Gonzalez who rounded Diop before slotting into an empty net.
Gonzalez wasn’t done yet and added his second goal just moments later. In a mirror image of his first goal, the Rangers again caught Galaxy II out on the counter attack with Ualefi playing in the rookie forward. Gonzalez beat his man and finished beyond Diop with aplomb to clinch a spot in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Kris Tyrpak – Scored the game-winning goal in the 76th minute with a powerful header into the top corner that left Clement Diop rooted to the spot.
- The Rangers will have to wait until Saturday night to discover who their USL Western Conference Semifinal opponent will be. The side will take on the winner of the Sacramento Republic FC vs. Orange County Blues FC matchup at Bonney Field, with the Rangers either traveling to Sacramento or hosting Orange County.
Swope Park Rangers vs. LA Galaxy II
September 30, 2016 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 3, LA Galaxy II 0
SPR – Kris Tyrpak 8 (Tyler Pasher 2) 76’
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez 10 (Emmanuel Appiah 1) 90+
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez 11 (Ualefi 5) 90+
LA – Adonis Amaya (Yellow Card) 9’
LA – Jose Villarreal (Yellow Card) 34’
LA – Alejandro Covarrubias (Yellow Card) 59’
LA – Jose Villarreal (Yellow Card/Red Card) 65’
LA – Jeffrey Payeras (Yellow Card) 79’
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Tommy Meyer, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Ever Alvarado; Ualefi, Christian Duke ©, Ayrton (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 74’); Kris Tyrpak (Emmanuel Appiah 87’), Dane Kelly (Johnny Grant 90+), Tyler Pasher.
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Tomas Granitto, Alex Molano, Nansel Selbol.
STATS: Shots 8, Shots on Goal 6, Corners 5, Fouls 10
LA Galaxy II: Clement Diop; Nate Smith, Jeff Payeras, Bradley Diallo, Josh Turnley; Denzel Slager (Bryam Rebellon 82’), Alejandro Covarrubias (Ethan Zubak 87’), Jaime Villarreal ©, Jose Villarreal; Ariel Lassiter, Adonis Amaya (Bradford Jamieson IV 66’).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Lopez, Lee Nishanian, Oscar Sorto, Adrian Vera.
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Goal 4, Corners 5, Fouls 14
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referees: Ryan Cook and Shane Kennard
Fourth Official: Andrew Smith
Weather: Clear and 67 degrees