The Swope Park Rangers fought back from a one-goal deficit to claim a point following a 1-1 draw with the Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday night. The two sides were forced to wait out a one-hour-and-15-minute weather delay before finally kicking off at 8:45 p.m. local time. The Rangers move to 1-8-6 (9 points) on the season.
The first half was a tight affair with neither side creating many clear-cut chances. Camden Riley met a cross from Alexsander at the near post but headed over early on, before Arthur Bosua struck a low shot narrowly wide for the hosts.
In the 25th minute, Bosua threatened again but was denied by a stunning save from Adrian Zendejas, who produced a reaction stop to block his close-range shot. Bosua had one more chance before the half was over, but his clipped effort with Zendejas rushing out bounced wide of the target.
The game burst to life in the second half as Charleston took the lead in the 62nd minute through Rimario Piggott’s back-post finish, though the goal only served to spark the Rangers into life.
Trailing by one, SPR began to pour numbers forward and threatened through substitute Ethan Vanacore-Decker’s powerful shot, before Jerome Ngom Mbekeli had a goal disallowed due to a handball.
After Kuzain had tested Charleston goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky from distance, it was Felipe Hernandez who found the equalizer with an excellent strike from 20 yards that took a slight deflection before going in off the post. Hernandez now leads the Rangers with six goals on the season.
It was the Rangers that pushed hardest for a winner and almost found it when Kuzain wriggled into the area, but his right-footed cross-cum-shot went wide of the target.
Tempers flared as the game ticked to its end and Charleston substitute Ian Svantesson was shown a straight red card for a studs up challenge on Ayyoub Allach, before Rangers captain Zendejas was also sent off after being shown his second yellow card for engaging with the brawl that ensued.
The Rangers return home next weekend to take on cross-state rivals Saint Louis FC at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, June 30 with kickoff set for 4 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed live via ESPN+, while tickets are available via SeatGeek.com.
2019 USL Championship
Game 15 of 34
MUSC Health Stadium | Charleston, S.C.
Weather: 74 degrees and rainy
|Swope Park Rangers (1-8-6, 9 points)||0||1||1|
|Charleston Battery (5-3-7, 22 points)||0||1||1|
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas (C); Mark Segbers, Graham Smith, Camden Riley, Alexsander; Kuzain, Felipe Hernandez, Rassambek Akhmatov (Ayyoub Allach 65’); Will Little (Killian Colombie 77’), Wilson Harris (Ethan Vanacore-Decker 65’), Jerome Ngom Mbekeli
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp
Charleston Battery: Joe Kuzminsky; Angelo Kelly, Taylor Mueller (C), Leland Archer, Jarad van Schaik; Romario Piggott (Dante Marini 66’), Vincenzo Candela, Tah Anunga, Nicholas Rittmeyer; Kotaro Higashi (Nicque Daley 88’); Arthur Bosua (Ian Svantesson 72’)
Subs Not Used: Phil Breno, Kyle Nelson, AJ Paterson
CHS – Romario Piggott 2 (Jarad van Schaik 1) 62’
SPR – Felipe Hernandez 6 (Killian Colombie 3) 82’
SPR – Mark Segbers (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 11’
SPR – Adrian Zendejas (Yellow Card; Dissent) 47+
SPR – Jerome Ngom Mbekeli (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 59’
CHS – Ian Svantesson (Red Card; Serious Foul Play) 93+
SPR – Adrian Zendejas (Yellow Card/Red Card; Argument) 94+
|Shots on Goal||3||3|
Referee: Matt Franz
Assistant Referee: Howard Ash
Assistant Referee: Matthew Osterhouse
Fourth Official: Kevin Roberts