The Swope Park Rangers (12-5-4, 3rd place) settled for a second straight draw on Saturday, splitting the points with Orange County SC (7-6-6, 9th place) one week after a scoreless stalemate with Saint Louis FC.
Kharlton Belmar opened the scoring in the fourth minute with his team-leading seventh goal of the season, however 19-year-old Zach Kobayashi struck for the visitors with an equalizer six minutes into the second half.
The Rangers jumped out to an early lead as club captain Christian Duke chipped a delicate pass into the path of Belmar just minutes into the match. The former USL Rookie of the Year took care of the rest, slipping his shot through the legs of Orange County SC goalkeeper Charlie Lyon for his 22nd career USL goal.
In a match in which the Rangers conceded only three total shots, SPR goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas made his lone save of the match in fantastic fashion in the 24th minute. The Sporting KC loanee raced off his line to turn away Frank Olijve from point blank range and preserve his side’s 1-0 advantage.
Moments later, SPR nearly pushed the scoreline to 2-0 on a free kick taken by centerback Liam Doyle. His thunderous left-footed strike from 35 yards out screamed past Lyon only to strike the post, denying a game-defining goal.
Instead, it was Orange County SC that found their way onto the scoreboard in the 51st minute. Kobayashi blocked a clearance attempt from Parker Maher and, with the ball falling fortuitously in front of him, took a touch into the penalty area before placing his shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
The Rangers would respond with the game’s final eight shots, including a near miss from Mark Anthony Gonzalez in the 58th minute, however only the last attempt of the match – a well-struck effort from Lebo Moloto in stoppage time – would find the target.
- The Swope Park Rangers will host first place Real Monarchs SLC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Friday, August 18 on Back-to-School Night at Children’s Mercy Victory Field in Swope Soccer Village. The first 750 fans in attendance will receive a free SPR jersey lunch box presented by Smile Generation. Tickets for the marquee match-up are available online at SeatGeek.com or at the venue box office on gameday.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Orange County SC
August 12, 2017 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 1-1 Orange County SC
SPR – Kharlton Belmar 7 (Christian Duke 2) 4’
OC – Zach Kobayashi 2 (unassisted) 51’
SPR – Lebo Moloto (caution; reckless foul) 36’
OC – Richard Chaplow (caution; reckless foul) 71’
OC – Zach Kobayashi (caution; reckless foul) 86’
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Tyler Pasher, Liam Doyle, Oumar Ballo, Parker Maher (Colton Storm 58); Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, Christian Duke ©, Lebo Moloto; Kharlton Belmar, Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Cameron Iwasa 79), Nansel Selbol (Felipe Hernandez 57)
Substitutes Not Used: Darrin MacLeod, Dakota Barnathan, Max Rugova, Robert Mirosavic
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 6, Fouls 9, Possession 64.4%
Orange County SC: Charlie Lyon; Frank Olijve, Oscar Sorto, Joe Franco; Roy Meeus, Amirgy Pineda, Richard Chaplow © (Gustavo Villalobos 73), Zach Kobayashi; James Baxendale (Jerry van Ewijk 62), Wuilito Fernandes, Monday Etim (Dusan Stevanovic 81)
Substitutes Not Used: Casey Beyers, Jeannot Esua, Kevin Jeon
STATS: Shots 3, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 1, Fouls 7, Possession 35.6%