The Swope Park Rangers (12-5-6, 3rd in West) played to an exciting 2-2 draw with Sacramento Republic FC (10-7-5, 5th in West) on Wednesday night at Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento, Calif. Sporting KC loanee Soony Saad and Kharlton Belmar each scored for the Rangers who remain in third place in the 15-team Western Conference.
The Rangers began the game on the front foot and took the lead in just the fourth minute of the match when Soony Saad – making his first-ever SPR appearance on loan from Sporting KC – received a pass from Christian Duke, beat his man and fired a thunderous shot beyond Evan Newton in the Sacramento goal from 25 yards out to give SPR a 1-0 lead.
Kharlton Belmar and Nansel Selbol – who scored a goal apiece in last Friday’s draw with Real Monarchs SLC – threatened throughout the first half, but it was Sacramento who pulled level in the 36th minute. Emrah Klimenta fired a stunning free kick off the bar before Wilson Kneeshaw pounced on the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.
The Rangers retook the lead in the 68th minute when Duke – a Sporting KC Academy product – latched onto a throw-in and hooked a ball across the face of goal for Belmar who buried his team-leading ninth goal of the season to make the score 2-1.
Sacramento began throwing numbers forward as the half wore on, and only resolute defending from center back pairing Amer Didic and Oumar Ballo kept the hosts off the board for the majority of the second half.
However, in the 88th minute, Elliot Hord’s cross from the right was met by Tyler Blackwood who volleyed home his sixth goal of the campaign to make the final score 2-2 as SPR extended the side’s unbeaten streak on the road to eight games.
- The Swope Park Rangers remain on the road this weekend when the side takes on Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday, August 26. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. CT with the match 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. Sacramento Republic FC
August 23, 2017 – Papa Murphy’s Park (Sacramento, Calif.)
Swope Park Rangers 2, Sacramento Republic FC 2
SPR – Soony Saad 1 (Christian Duke 3) 4’
SAC – Wilson Kneeshaw 6 (Unassisted) 36’
SPR – Kharlton Belmar 9 (Christian Duke 4) 68’
SAC – Tyler Blackwood 6 (Elliot Hord 1) 88’
SAC – James Kiffe (Yellow Card) 34’
SPR – Lebo Moloto (Yellow Card) 45’
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Colton Storm, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Tyler Pasher; Kuzain, Lebo Moloto (Felipe Hernandez 75’), Christian Duke ©; Kharlton Belmar (Parker Maher 79’), Soony Saad, Nansel Selbol (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 75’).
Substitutes Not Used: Darrin MacLeod, Dakota Barnathan, Liam Doyle, Cameron Iwasa.
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Goal 4, Corners 5, Fouls 12, Possession 54.0%
Sacramento Republic FC: Evan Newton; Elliot Hord, James Kiffe, Emrah Klimenta ©, Carlos Rodriguez; Agustin Cazarez, Peter McGlynn (Gabe Gissie 68’), Hayden Partain; Trevin Ceaser (Harry Williams 77’), Tyler Blackwood, Wilson Kneeshaw (Matthew Wiesenfarth 77’).
Substitutes Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Nicholas Hategan, Christian Chaney, Samuel Ochoa.
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 3, Fouls 7, Possession 46.0%