The Swope Park Rangers (14-10-7, 6th place) recorded a 2-0 win over San Antonio FC (12-11-7, 9th place) at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday night. Hadji Barry scored in his seventh straight match, setting a new USL record, while Tyler Blackwood contributed a goal and an assist, and Eric Dick earned his fourth shutout of the season.
In the seventh minute, San Antonio’s Omar Gordon would make an attempt from outside the box, but it would miss just to the left of the goal post. In the 15th minute, Sporting KC loanee Kharlton Belmar would take a cross from Justin Bilyeu and nearly found the back of the net, but San Antonio goalkeeper Matt Cardone would make a diving save.
Blackwood would have a breakaway after a through ball from Barry, but Blackwood’s attempt would go to the right of the post in the 18th minute. In the 29th minute, Bilyeu would almost go head-over-heels over the video board in an attempt to send a cross in front of the goal, but Cardone would be there to scoop up the chance.
Sporting KC homegrown midfielder Gianluca Busio would send a ball to Rassambek Akhmatov in the 34th minute, but Akhmatov’s shot would miss to the right of the goal. In the 51st minute, Blackwood would send a great ball to Barry and Barry would get the touch to send it past Cardone, putting the Rangers up 1-0.
In the 73rd minute, Belmar would win a header following a corner from Sporting KC Academy product Felipe Hernandez, but it would miss to the right. In the 75th minute, Blackwood would direct a glancing header into the back of the net following an Akhmatov pass, extending the Rangers lead to 2-0.
SPR would end the night taking the full three points with an important 2-0 victory over San Antonio FC and now hold a six-point lead over the visitors in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Rangers will now hit the road for their final two away matches of the 2018 season. SPR face Tulsa Roughnecks (3-15-11, 17th place) on Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. CT before taking on Sacramento Republic FC (15-7-7, 4th place) on Wednesday, October 3 at 9:30 p.m. CT. The Rangers will close out the regular season at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. CT when they face LA Galaxy II (9-15-6, 13th place).
Hadji Barry has scored in his last seven starts and tonight it brings his goals scored this season to 15. A seven-match scoring streak is a new USL record. Barry surpassed former SPR player Dane Kelly, who managed a six-match scoring streak last season with Reno 1868 FC. Fifteen goals scored in a single season is also a new career record for the forward. The 25-year-old now holds SPR’s single-season goals scored record, surpassing Kharlton Belmar who previously held the regular season record with 14 goals in 2017.
Swope Park Rangers vs San Antonio FC
September 19, 2018 – Children’s Mercy Park
Swope Park Rangers 2, San Antonio FC 0
SPR – Hadji Barry 15 (Tyler Blackwood 2) – 51’
SPR – Tyler Blackwood 6 (Rassambek Akhmatov 1) – 75’
SA – Cyprian Hedrick (Yellow Card) – 27’
SA – Mikey Lopez (Yellow Card) – 49’
SPR – Justin Bilyeu (Yellow Card) – 63’
Swope Park Rangers: Eric Dick; Jaylin Lindsey, Graham Smith ©, Amer Didic, Justin Bilyeu; Wan Kuzain, Gianluca Busio (Felipe Hernandez 71’), Rassambek Akhmatov; Kharlton Belmar (Bryam Rebellon 90’), Tyler Blackwood, Hadji Barry (Ethan Vanacore-Decker 51’)