The Swope Park Rangers (7-4-2, 4th place) earned their first victory away from home this season with a 2-1 win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC (5-8-0, 11th place) at ONEOK Field on Tuesday night. With the win, the Rangers move to 6-0-0 all-time against the Roughnecks and have now gone unbeaten in their last two road games after falling in their first three.
The two sides traded chances in the opening with the SPR defense doing well to cut out Juan Pablo Caffa’s attempted through ball to Chicago Fire loanee Joey Calistri before last week’s goalscorer Liam Doyle fired a free kick off target for the Rangers.
In the 27th minute, the Rangers took the lead. Diego Rubio, who is on loan from Sporting KC after recently returning from a torn ACL last October, spun behind his defender to fire home Colton Storm’s deflected throw-in and give his side the lead midway through the first half.
Tulsa almost responded within six minutes but another Sporting KC loanee, goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas, did well to smother Calistri’s effort as the midfielder escaped into a one-on-one situation with the ‘keeper. Late in the first half, Rubio almost netted his second but his free kick whipped inches wide of the post.
The Rangers began the second half on the front foot and Rubio almost set up Sporting KC Homegrown forward Daniel Salloi with a low cross that was well blocked by the Roughnecks’ backline. Moments later, captain Christian Duke thought he’d scored when he dispossessed a Tulsa defender and dribbled in on goal only to see Fabian Cerda miraculously turn away his goalbound effort from close range.
Head coach Nikola Popovic made two changes in the space of three minutes as first he introduced Mark Anthony Gonzalez in place of Salloi before sending on Cameron Iwasa for Rubio in the 59th and 62nd minutes. Those changes paid instant dividends as Iwasa escaped down the left and bore down on goal before squaring the ball to Gonzalez for a tap-in finish and his fourth of the season – three coming against the Roughnecks.
The Roughnecks weren’t to go down without a fight and pulled a goal back in the 69th minute when Collin Fernandez’s strike ricocheted into the bottom corner via a deflection off an SPR defender. Moments later, Zendejas was called into action to deny Caffa’s curling shot that was destined for the corner.
Tulsa threw numbers forward toward the end of the game but the Rangers held firm to hold on for their first road win of the season and move up to fourth place in the USL Western Conference standings.
- The Swope Park Rangers remain on the road this week as the side heads to California to take on LA Galaxy II on Friday, June 30. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. CT and 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. Tulsa Roughnecks FC
June 27, 2017 – ONEOK Field (Tulsa, Okla.)
Swope Park Rangers 2, Tulsa Roughnecks FC 1
SPR – Diego Rubio 1 (Unassisted) 27’
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez 4 (Cameron Iwasa 1) 63’
TUL – Collin Fernandez 1 (Joaquin Rivas 2) 69’
SPR – Lebo Moloto (Yellow Card) 16’
TUL – Francisco Ugarte (Yellow Card) 34’
TUL – Jorge Luis Corrales (Yellow Card) 58’
SPR -- Adrian Zendejas (Yellow Card) 92'+
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Colton Storm, Oumar Ballo, Liam Doyle, Tyler Pasher; Dakota Barnathan, Lebo Moloto, Christian Duke ©; Kevin Oliveira (Amer Didic 79’), Diego Rubio (Cameron Iwasa 62’), Daniel Salloi (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 60’).
Substitutes Not Used: Darrin MacLeod, Louis Bennett, Robert Mirosavic, Nansel Selbol.
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 5, Corners 3, Fouls 12, Possession 38.4%
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: Fabian Cerda; Kosuke Kimura, Jorge Luis Corrales (Jaime Ayala 83’), Francisco Ugarte, Modou Jadama; Collin Fernandez (Pavel Kondrakhin 83’), Joey Calistri, Bradley Bourgeois, Juan Pablo Caffa ©, Paris Gee (Joaquin Rivas 60’); Ian Svantesson.
Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Byars, Brady Ballew, Cristian Mata.
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Goal 5, Corners 3, Fouls 11, Possession 61.6%
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referees: Joel McKell and Matthew Seem
Fourth Official: Brook Weiss