The Swope Park Rangers (6-4-2, 3rd place) scored twice in an eight-minute span during the second half to rally for a 2-1 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (5-5-5, 3rd place) on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Victory Field in Swope Soccer Village.
After going down a goal in the 23rd minute, Liam Doyle scored his first professional goal in the 67th minute and club captain Christian Duke netted the game-winner with 15 minutes remaining to lift SPR into third place in the Western Conference.
On a night in which the Rangers maintained 73 percent of the possession and completed more than three times as many passes as their opponent, SPR twice came close to taking the lead in the game’s early stages through a pair of defenders on loan from Sporting Kansas City.
Outside back Tyler Pasher made a darting run down the left flank and struck the near post with his shot near the endline in the ninth minute. Center back Amer Didic came forward for a corner in the 20th minute and did well to put a volley on target off a flighted cross into the box from Parker Maher.
However, it was Colorado Springs who opened the scoring in the 23rd minute on a superb run from forward Kevaughn Frater. The 22-year-old received the ball at midfield and eluded the challenges of two Swope Park Rangers players while racing into the penalty area and providing a pass into the path of Eddy Prugh for the first-time finish.
Frater, who scored twice in the Switchbacks last match, again served as a playmaker in the 33rd minute when he slipped a clever pass to fellow Jamaican Shane Malcolm. Swope Park Rangers goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas raced off his line to make a kick save from close range.
The second half would see the scoreline shift in SPR’s favor and the Rangers sent three separate warning signals that a breakthrough was coming. Daniel Salloi first tested Colorado Springs goalkeeper Moise Pouaty in the 50th minute and the 21-year-old Cameroon international was again called into action to turn away Pasher’s strongly-struck effort nine minutes later.
Swope Park Rangers head coach Nikola Popovic would bring on forward Diego Rubio with 30 minutes remaining and the Chilean, after putting an effort on target in the 62nd minute, earned the corner kick that produced the game-tying goal. Kevin Oliveira curled in the set piece in the 67th minute and Doyle did the rest, breaking free of his defender and burying a header from eight yards out.
Oliveira earned his second assist of the season on the goal and played a pivotal part in the game-winner just eight minutes later. The Cape Verde international cut inside Josh Suggs and lofted a cross which was momentarily cut out by Jordan Burt but fell to Duke, who made no mistake with a right-footed finish into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
Zendejas would make a total of four saves on the night, two of which came in the closing minutes. The 21-year-old was well-positioned to handle Aaron King’s long-range attempt in the 89th minute and he was untroubled by a header from Prugh in stoppage time following a free kick taken by Suggs.
Zendejas’ counterpart, Pouaty, was credited with six saves and leads all USL goalkeepers in the category with 45 on the season.
- The Rangers will make the short trip to Tulsa to take on the Roughnecks at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 27 at ONEOK Field (5-7-0, 11th place). The match will stream live on SportingKC.com and fans can also follow the action via the USLsoccer.com Match Center.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
June 21, 2017 – Children’s Mercy Victory Field (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 2, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1
COS – Eddy Prugh 1 (Kevaughn Frater 3) 23’
SPR – Liam Doyle 1 (Kevin Oliveira 2) 67’
SPR – Christian Duke 2 (unassisted) 75’
SPR – James Musa (caution; reckless foul) 78’
COS – Moise Pouaty (caution; unsporting behavior) 90’
SPR – Kharlton Belmar (caution; reckless foul) 91+
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Parker Maher, Amer Didic, Liam Doyle, Tyler Pasher; James Musa, Kevin Oliveira (Oumar Ballo 86), Christian Duke ©; Nansel Selbol (Kharlton Belmar 63), Lebo Moloto, Daniel Salloi (Diego Rubio 60)
Substitutes Not Used: Cameron Iwasa, David Greczek, Dakota Barnathan, Mark Anthony Gonzalez
STATS: Shots 19, Shots on Goal 8, Corners 9, Fouls 11, Possession 73%
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: Moise Pouaty; Josh Suggs, Sean McFarlane, Jordan Burt, Josh Phillips; Kim Tae-Seong (Pascal Eboussi 88), Rony Argueta ©, Eddy Prugh; Kevaughn Frater (Aaron King 72), Mastanabal Kacher (Conner Bevans 73), Shane Malcom
Substitutes Not Used: Diego Gutierrez, Dan Jackson
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Goal 5, Corners 2, Fouls 12, Possession 27%
Referee: Ismir Pekmic
Assistant Referees: Tom Kuczwara and Aaron Schumacher
Fourth Official: Jervis Atagana
Weather: Sunny and 87 degrees