The Swope Park Rangers suffered a 3-1 defeat to Saint Louis FC as the side continued its preseason with a friendly game at Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. this afternoon.
Saint Louis took the lead early when Octavio Guzman struck a free kick from distance that beat SPR goalkeeper David Greczek and flew into the net.
Mark Anthony Gonzalez went close twice in quick succession but was denied by Saint Louis goalkeeper Devala Gorrick on each occasion midway through the first half. The Rangers kept pushing, seeing Kharlton Belmar and Gonzalez narrowly miss the target in the 29th and 35th minutes.
In the 39th minute, Sporting KC SuperDraft selection Colton Storm beat his man down the right and crossed for Nansel Selbol, but the 19-year-old’s effort was parried away for a corner by Gorrick.
With the clock ticking down to halftime, Guzman headed in from a cross to tally his second of the game for Saint Louis and make the score 2-0 at the interval.
The Rangers began the second half with a purpose and pulled a goal back through captain Christian Duke in the 54th minute. After a scramble in the box, Duke managed to poke the loose ball into the back of the net to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Just seconds later, Saint Louis reopened their two-goal advantage as Mats Bjurman fired into the corner from the top of the box after a neatly worked move.
Lebo Moloto, who was making his first appearance for the Rangers since joining from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, took aim from 25 yards in the 77th minute but it was well saved. Gonzalez had the final chance for SPR but his effort flashed wide in the 82nd minute as the Rangers fell to a 3-1 defeat.
The Rangers conclude preseason next Saturday as the side takes on Creighton University at Swope Soccer Village, with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. CT. SPR opens the 2017 USL season the following weekend with a home matchup against OKC Energy FC on Saturday, March 25.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Saint Louis FC
March 11, 2017 – Columbia College (Columbia, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 1, Saint Louis FC 3
STL – Octavio Guzman 2’
STL – Octavio Guzman 43’
SPR – Christian Duke 54’
STL – Mats Bjurman 55’
SPR – Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (Yellow Card) 28’
Swope Park Rangers: David Greczek (Darrin MacLeod 71’); Colton Storm, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo (Liam Doyle 46’), Parker Maher; Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (James Musa 62’), Christian Duke ©, Felipe Hernandez (Lebo Moloto 62’); Kharlton Belmar, Mark Anthony Gonzalez, Nansel Selbol (Max Rugova 76’).