The Swope Park Rangers fell to a 3-1 defeat to cross-state rivals Saint Louis FC on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium in Fenton, Missouri. The Rangers fall to 0-4-2 and currently sit in 17th place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference.
The Rangers started brightly and went close multiple times when excellent delivery from first Felipe Hernandez and then Will Little just couldn’t set up fellow Sporting KC Academy product Wilson Harris to finish.
Sporting KC loanee Adrian Zendejas produced a brilliant save to deny Russell Cicerone’s curling effort, but it wasn’t enough to keep St. Louis at bay as the brilliantly named Audi Jepson fired home a stunning effort from distance in the 43rd minute to give the home side a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The second half didn’t start any better as Cicerone finally got the better of Zendejas. The SPR goalkeeper made an excellent save on Cicerone’s initial attempt, only for the St. Louis forward to latch onto his own rebound and fire home in the 47th minute.
The Rangers got back in the game in the 66th minute when left back Alexsander cut inside on his weaker right foot and thundered home a low strike from outside the area that nestled into the side-netting to cut the deficit tom 2-1.
SPR almost found an equalizer when Sporting KC loanee Wan Kuzain fired a brilliant, dipping strike that beat the goalkeeper but crashed off the crossbar and came out.
Instead it was St. Louis that got the fourth goal of the match as Kyle Greig – a native of Olathe, Kansas – netted in the 84th minute, just two minutes after being lucky to escape a red card for a studs up challenge against Alexsander’s Achilles.
The Rangers pressed forward looking to get back in the game in the closing moments of the match but were unable to find a route back and fell 3-1 on the road.
The Rangers return home next week to take on back-to-back reigning champions Louisville City FC at Children’s Mercy Park on Monday May 6 with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed live via ESPN+, while tickets are available via SeatGeek.com.
2019 USL Championship
Game 6 of 34
Toyota Stadium | Fenton, Missouri
Weather: 75 degrees and cloudy
|Swope Park Rangers (0-4-2, 2 points)||0||1||1|
|Saint Louis FC (5-1-2, 17 points)||1||2||3|
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Mark Segbers, Graham Smith, Camden Riley, Alexsander; Ayyoub Allach, Felipe Hernandez (Rassambek Akhmatov 82’), Wan Kuzain; Will Little, Wilson Harris (Sean Karani 72’), Jerome Ngom Mbekeli (Killian Colombie 66’)
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Mo Abualnadi, Kaveh Rad, Jake Davis
Saint Louis FC: Jake Fenlason; Matt Bahner, Sean Reynolds, Sam Fink, Phanuel Kavita; Guy Abend, Audi Jepson (Kadeem Dacres 75’), Lewis Hilton (Oscar Umar 87’), Russell Cicerone; Albert Dikwa (Paris Gee 94+), Kyle Greig
Subs Not Used: Patrick Schulte, Austin Martz
STL – Audi Jepson 1 (Russell Cicerone 1) 42’
STL – Russell Cicerone 3 (Unassisted) 47’
SPR – Alexsander 1 (Felipe Hernandez 2) 65’
STL – Kyle Greig 2 (Sam Fink 1) 84’
SPR – Killian Colombie (Yellow Card) 80’
STL – Kyle Greig (Yellow Card) 82’
|Shots on Goal||2||6|
Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referee: Matthew Rodman
Assistant Referee: Jack Ryan-Feldman
Fourth Official: Nathan Colling