The Swope Park Rangers (13-6-6, 3rd place) snapped a six-game winless skid with a 2-0 victory over regional rivals OKC Energy FC (9-10-6, 8th place) on Saturday at Swope Soccer Village behind two goals from forward Lebo Moloto and a clean sheet from goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.
Zendejas made his first of three saves on the night in the 15th minute to collect Jose Angulo’s shot from beyond the penalty area. Two minutes later, it was the Rangers who earned a penalty kick and what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
From midfield, Liam Doyle clipped a 40-yard pass toward Tyler Pasher near the left touchline. Pasher took the ball out of the air and ran past Sam Fink with his first touch and then beat OKC Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi to the ball with his second touch before being brought down by Laurendi.
Moloto stepped to the spot and made no mistake with a well-taken penalty over the outstretched Laurendi for his fourth goal of the season and first of two in the match. His second would come just three minutes into the second half courtesy of an assist from 19-year-old product Felipe Hernandez.
The Sporting KC Academy product worked his way past Miguel Gonzalez on the dribble and picked out Moloto at the top of the six-yard box for a first-time finish into the back of the net. His fifth goal of the season sees him claim a share of the second spot on the Rangers’ goal scoring chart along with Mark Anthony Gonzalez and Nansel Selbol, who both missed the match due to injury.
The Rangers were also without defensive stalwarts Amer Didic (Canada) and James Musa (New Zealand) while the two Sporting KC loanees are away on international duty, however SPR held the visitors to only three shots on goal – all from outside the penalty area -- in Saturday’s victory.
Zendejas picked up his 12th win of the year, most among all goalkeepers in the USL’s Western Conference, and the Rangers logged the team’s 10th clean sheet of the season as SPR improved to 8-2-2 at home in 2017. The victory was a third straight against OKC Energy FC to even the all-time series at three wins apiece ahead of the road rematch in Oklahoma on October 8.
- The Swope Park Rangers will travel to California to take on Orange County SC (7-8-8, 10th place) at 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, September 9. The match will be streamed live on SportingKC.com and in-game updates will be available from the team’s social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Swope Park Rangers vs. OKC Energy FC
September 2, 2017 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 2-0 OKC Energy FC
SPR – Lebo Moloto 4 (penalty kick) 19’
SPR – Lebo Moloto 5 (Felipe Hernandez 1) 49’
OKC – Michael Daly (caution; reckless foul) 26’
SPR – Colton Storm (caution; delaying a restart) 63’
SPR – Lebo Moloto (caution; reckless foul) 73’
SPR – Kharlton Belmar (caution; delaying a restart) 91+
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Colton Storm, Dakota Barnathan, Liam Doyle, Parker Maher (Cameron Iwasa 46); Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (Oumar Ballo 74), Christian Duke (C), Felipe Hernandez (Kevin Oliveira 67); Kharlton Belmar, Lebo Moloto, Tyler Pasher
Substitutes Not Used: Darrin MacLeod, Max Rugova, Joe Amico, Robert Mirosavic
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 4, Fouls 13, Possession 55%
OKC Energy FC: Cody Laurendi (C); Michael Daly (Wojciech Wojcik 72), Coady Andrews, Kyle Hyland; Anthony Wallace Jose Barril (Juan Pablo Guzman), Richard Dixon, Sam Fink; Jose Angulo, Miguel Gonzalez (Jonathan Brown 61), Alex Dixon
Substitutes Not Used: C.J. Cochran, Chad Bond, Daniel Gonzalez, Luis Martinez
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 3, Corners 3, Fouls 10, Possession 45%
Referee: Bardhyl Pashaj
Assistant Referees: Jack Feldman and Matt Miller
Fourth Official: Joseph Macht
Weather: Sunny and 80 degrees