The Swope Park Rangers (3-16-6, 15 points) suffered a 4-2 defeat on the road against Memphis 901 FC (6-13-8, 26 points) at AutoZone Park. Wilson Harris gave the Rangers the lead in the first half and Ze Pedro momentarily equalized early in the second period, but it wasn’t enough as the Rangers fell to a frustrating loss.
Memphis went close in the 10th minute as Marcus Epps’ cross was headed off the crossbar by Brandon Allen before John Pulskamp tipped the rebound over the bar. From the ensuing corner, Josh Morton almost bundled the ball into the back of the net before a combination of Ze Pedro and Pulskamp kept it out on the line.
In the 30th minute, Lagos Kunga went close as he picked up a second ball in the area, spun away from his marker and smashed a shot on frame that Pulskamp did excellently to tip over the bar from close range.
The Rangers took the lead in the 34th minute when Wes Sharpie flew into a dangerous challenge on Alexsander inside the Memphis area, and referee Lukasz Szapala pointed to the penalty spot. Sporting KC Academy product Harris stepped up and confidently sent Jeff Caldwell the wrong way for his fifth goal of the season to make the score 1-0.
The lead would only last three minutes as in the 38th minute, Pierre Da Silva pounced on a poor clearance in the Rangers’ penalty area and slammed a left-footed half-volley into the back of the net from 15 yards to level the score at 1-1.
Moments later, Epps found himself all alone in the Rangers are and after Pulskamp saved his initial attempt, Kaveh Rad was on hand to produce a stunning goal-saving tackle to prevent the rebound from flying into the back of the net.
However, Memphis took the lead from the ensuing corner as Josh Morton rose highest at the far post to head home Cam Lindley’s delivery. Pulskamp got a touch on the ball but could not prevent it from sneaking into the side netting.
The Rangers came roaring out of the gates in the second half and pulled themselves level in the 50th minute. Rassambek Akhmatov slid in a sumptuous through ball behind the Memphis backline into the path of Ze Pedro who composed himself before slotting a terrific finish beneath Caldwell to make the score 2-2.
Ze Pedro almost gave the Rangers the lead in the 55th minute with a stunning free kick from 25 yards, curling his effort over the wall and forcing Caldwell into a fingertip save to push it over the bar. Eight minutes later, it was Pulskamp’s turn to keep the score level as he denied substitute Elliott Collier who was bearing down on goal.
Memphis retook the lead in the 67th minute when Lindley’s long ball over the top caused confusion in the Rangers backline and Allen pounced to slot into the bottom corner and make the score 3-2.
The hosts added to their lead in the 77th minute when another long ball found Collier on the Memphis right wing, and he squared the ball across the face of goal to Allen for a simple finish, putting the home side 4-2 up heading into the closing stages.
Tyler Freeman almost pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute, just moments after entering the game as a substitute. After a poor Memphis clearance reached the Sporting KC Homegrown product in the area, Freeman’s curling effort was well held by Caldwell in the Memphis goal as the game finished 4-2.
The Rangers now head home for a midweek match against the Charleston Battery at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday, Sept. 11 with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+, while tickets are available via SeatGeek.com.
2019 USL Championship
Game 25 of 34
AutoZone Park | Memphis, TN
Weather: 85 degrees and sunny
|Swope Park Rangers (3-16-6, 15 points)||1||1||2|
|Memphis 901 FC (6-13-8, 26 points)||2||2||4|
Swope Park Rangers: John Pulskamp; Killian Colombie, Kaveh Rad, Rennico Clarke (C), Alexsander; Ayyoub Allach, Rassambek Akhmatov, Tucker Lepley; Mark Segbers (Tyler Freeman 82’), Wilson Harris, Ze Pedro (Ethan Vanacore-Decker 66’)
Subs Not Used: Max Trejo, Dylan Hooper, Tucker Stephenson, Will Little, Jerome Ngom Mbekeli
Memphis 901 FC: Jeff Caldwell; Josh Morton, Marc Burch (C), Liam Doyle, Wes Sharpie (Ewan Grandison 76’); Dan Metzger (Morgan Hackworth 87’), Pierre Da Silva, Cam Lindley; Lagos Kunga (Elliot Collier 57’), Brandon Allen, Marcus Epps
Subs Not Used: Jim Barkei, Todd Pratzner, Jochen Graf, Duane Muckette
SPR – Wilson Harris 5 (Penalty Kick) 35’
MEM – Pierre da Silva 1 (Unassisted) 38’
MEM – Josh Morton 1 (Cam Lindley 3) 40’
SPR – Ze Pedro 2 (Rassambek Akhmatov 1) 50’
MEM – Brandon Allen 5 (Cam Lindley 4) 67’
MEM – Brandon Allen 6 (Elliot Collier 1) 77’
MEM – Wes Sharpie (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 34’
SPR – Mark Segbers (Yellow Card; Dissent) 43’
MEM – Dan Metzger (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 53’
MEM – Marc Burch (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 70’
SPR – Ayyoub Allach (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 86’
|Shots on Goal||4||9|
Referee: Lukasz Szapala
Assistant Referee: Austin Holt
Assistant Referee: Ryan Starr
Fourth Official: Benjamin Meyer