The Swope Park Rangers (12-5-2, 3rd place) 10-game unbeaten run and seven-match winning streak came to an end on Sunday in a 4-1 loss to Reno 1868 FC (8-4-6, 4th place) on Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village.
Nineteen-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Felipe Hernandez scored his first professional goal for the Rangers in the 60th minute, however the visitors -- the USL’s top-scoring team – tallied twice in each half to hand SPR a rare home loss.
Reno 1868 FC struck early, and often, on Sunday with the expansion side’s opening goal coming in the first minute on a sliding finish from Antoine Hoppenot off a cross from Nick von Niederhausern. The goal, Hoppenot’s seventh of the year, snapped a streak of 472 minutes in which the Rangers had held opponents scoreless over a span of seven games.
The Rangers recovered from the slow start, only to then concede again on the cusp of halftime when Luis Felipe Fernandes hammered a shot that caromed off the post and off SPR goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas before crossing the goalline. The eventual game-winner was Fernandes’ third goal of the year and came on an assist from Matt LaGrassa.
SPR pulled a goal back 15 minutes into the second half on a free kick from the left flank. Hernandez’s in-swinging service went untouched through the crowded goalmouth and curled inside the far post to cut Reno 1868 FC’s lead in half.
Moments later, the Rangers were nearly level if not for an outstanding play from Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano. The former Sporting Kansas City preseason trialist did well to thwart Mark Anthony Gonzalez in a one-on-one situation and preserve his side’s 2-1 lead.
With SPR continuing to push forward in search of an equalizer, Reno would capitalize on the other end of the field in the 76th minute through former Rangers striker Dane Kelly. The Jamaican marked his return to KC with his league-leading 14th goal of the season on an assist from Hoppenot to restore Reno’s two-goal advantage.
After scoring in the final minute of the first half, Reno added a goal in the final minute of the second half as well. Two second-half substitutes teamed up as Junior Burgos played a ball behind the SPR backline for Seth Casiple to race onto as the 23-year-old claimed his fourth goal of the year with a first-time chip from the top of the penalty area.
The result propelled Reno 1868 FC into fourth place in the USL’s Western Conference, eight points back of the Swope Park Rangers. The teams will meet again for a rematch in Reno on Aug. 26.
- The Swope Park Rangers will return to the road to face cross-state rivals Saint Louis FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 5 at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. The lone match-up this season between the two teams will be streamed live on SportingKC.com.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Reno 1868 FC
July 30, 2017 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 1-4 Reno 1868 FC
RNO – Antoine Hoppenot (Nick von Niederhausern) 1
RNO – Luis Felipe Fernandes (Matt LaGrassa) 45
SPR – Felipe Hernandez (free kick) 60
RNO – Dane Kelly (Antoine Hoppenot) 76
RNO – Seth Casiple (Junior Burgos) 90
RNO – Dane Kelly (caution; reckless tackle) 34
RNO – Matt Bersano (caution; delaying a restart) 46+
RNO – Lindo Mfeka (caution; persistent infringement) 64
RNO – Jordan Murrell (caution; dissent) 66
SPR – Christian Duke (caution; reckless tackle) 68
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Colton Storm, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Parker Maher (Tyler Pasher 60); James Musa, Christian Duke (C), Felipe Hernandez (Nansel Selbol 60); Cameron Iwasa (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 46), Lebo Moloto, Kharlton Belmar
Substitutes Not Used: Darrin MacLeod, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, Robert Mirosavic, Liam Doyle
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Goal 5, Corners 5, Fouls 9, Possession 63.4%
Reno 1868 FC: Matt Bersano; Nick von Niederhausern, Brenton Griffiths (Seth Casiple 46), Jimmy Ockford ©, Jordan Murrell; Matt LaGrassa, Lindo Mfeka (Junior Burgos 81), Chris Wehan (Darwin Espinal 71), Luis Felipe Fernandes; Dane Kelly, Antoine Hoppenot
Substitutes Not Used: Mackenzie Pridham, Brian Brown, Russell Klabough, Brent Richards
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Goal 6, Corners 4, Fouls 14, Possession 36.6%
Referee: Alejandro Mariscal
Assistant Referees: Ryan Cook and Shane Kennard
Weather: Sunny and 80 degrees