The Swope Park Rangers (4-2-0, 12 pts) moved into third place in the USL Western Conference with a 3-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (2-3-2, 8 pts) on Friday at Children’s Mercy Victory Field in Swope Soccer Village. Nansel Selbol, Lebo Moloto and Kharlton Belmar each tallied in the first half as the Rangers improved to 4-0-0 at home in 2017 and extended the club’s home winning streak to nine games dating back to last season.
While the Rangers defense – featuring Colton Storm, Tyler Pasher and Erik Palmer-Brown on loan from Sporting Kansas City – held the visitors to a single shot on goal via a controversial and consolatory late penalty in the 86th minute, the front three for SPR was quick to make an impact with three goals in a 30-minute span.
Nineteen-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Nansel Selbol opened the scoring in the game’s eighth minute, running onto a through ball from Kevin Oliveira and eluding goalkeeper Spencer Richey for a composed finish with his right foot. The sequence earned Oliveira his first assist since returning from a torn ACL last June and Selbol’s second career USL goal to go along with his goal for Sporting Kansas City in the CONCACAF Champions League last October.
Selbol nearly added his name to the scoresheet again, this time as a provider when he slipped a pass between two defenders in the 21st minute only to see Moloto’s first-time effort turned away by Richey. The WFC2 goalkeeper was called into action once more six minutes later, racing off his line to making a sliding save on Oliveira. The rebound fell to Christian Duke inside the corner of the penalty area and the SPR captain was quick to try a chipped attempt toward the vacated net, however the ball’s flight carried just past the far post.
The Swope Park Rangers doubled their lead in the 28th minute on a beautiful build-up through the central channel. Seven different players combined for seven passes to set up the finishing touch from Moloto for his eighth career USL goal on a pinpoint pass from Storm, who now leads the team with two assists in 2017.
The chances continued to come for the Swope Park Rangers and for Moloto, who nearly bagged a brace with a curling shot in the 34th minute that bent beyond the frame. Five minutes later, it was Moloto’s turn and well-weighted pass into the path of Belmar that stretched the SPR lead to 3-0 as the former USL Rookie of the Year capped off a 13-pass scoring sequence with his fourth goal in his fourth start of the season. Moloto’s stellar one goal, one assist performance was highlighted by a 100% passing accuracy, successfully completing all 24 passes he attempted.
The visiting Whitecaps FC 2, who swept both regular season meetings between these two teams in 2016 before falling 3-0 at Swope Soccer Village in the Western Conference Final, had been shut out in each of their last two matches and did not record their first shot of the match until the 43rd minute when Andy Thoma and Terran Campbell each had shots blocked by the SPR backline. The scoreless streak was generously ended in the game’s closing moments as referee Calin Radosav awarded a penalty kick against Amer Didic amidst an innocuous aerial challenge with second-half substitute Gloire Amanda.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 midfielder Ben McKendry, on loan from the senior team, stepped to the spot and buried the ensuing penalty past Adrian Zendejas, who improved to 11-1-0 as a starting goalkeeper for the Rangers with the victory.
- The Swope Park Rangers will travel to play Rio Grande Valley FC, the USL affiliate of the Houston Dynamo, at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 13 at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas. The match will be streamed live on SportingKC.com and in-game updates will be available through the team’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
May 5, 2017 – Children’s Mercy Victory Field (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1
SPR – Nansel Selbol 1 (Kevin Oliveira 1) 8
SPR – Lebo Moloto 1 (Colton Storm 2) 28
SPR – Kharlton Belmar 4 (Lebo Moloto 1) 38
VAN – Ben McKendry 2 (penalty kick) 86
VAN – David Norman (caution; reckless foul) 37
SPR – Colton Storm (caution; tactical foul) 57
SPR – Robert Mirosavic (caution; reckless foul) 80
SPR – James Musa (caution; dissent) 86
VAN – Ben McKendry (caution; reckless foul) 93+
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Tyler Pasher (Parker Maher 59), Erik Palmer-Brown, Amer Didic, Colton Storm; James Musa, Christian Duke ©, Kevin Oliveira; Kharlton Belmar (Max Rugova 73), Lebo Moloto, Nansel Selbol (Robert Mirosavic 64)
Substitutes Not Used: Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, David Greczek, Liam Doyle, Felipe Hernandez
STATS: Shots 8, Shots on Goal 6, Corners 3, Fouls 16, Possession 52%
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: Spencer Richey; Deklan Wynne, Dominick Zator, Sem de Wit ©, Matthew Baldisimo; David Norman (Nazeem Bartman 70), Ben McKendry, Thomas Gardner; Andy Thoma (Kadin Chung 58), Thomas Sanner (Gloire Amanda 46), Terran Campbell
Substitutes Not Used: Sean Melvin, Will Seymore, Chris Serban
STATS: Shots 6, Shots on Goal 1, Corners 6, Fouls 13, Possession 48%
Referee: Calin Radosav
Assistant Referees: Ryan Cook and Jared Palmer
Fourth Official: Joshua Pennington
Weather: Windy and 76 degrees