The Swope Park Rangers (3-16-7, 16 points) fought to a tight 0-0 draw with the Charleston Battery (8-7-11, 35 points) at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday night. Both sides had chances, with Felipe Hernandez going closest for the Rangers when his first-half volley struck the woodwork, but both sides settled for a point as the Rangers posted their third shutout of the 2019 USL Championship season.
The Rangers should’ve taken the lead in the just the second minute as Alexsander’s delicious whipped in cross from the left found an unmarked Wilson Harris in front of goal, but the 19-year-old glanced his header inches wide of the post.
Charleston threatened for the first time in the 17th minute when Kotaro Higashi snuck in behind the Rangers backline, but Rangers’ goalkeeper Eric Dick was up to the task, smothering his low effort when through on goal.
Hernandez, fresh off his Sporting KC debut on the weekend, was the next to go close in the 30th minute as a cross was headed into his path and he crashed a first-time volley off the crossbar and out from a near-impossible angle.
The Rangers almost took the lead four minutes into the second half when Wan Kuzain slid a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of Harris streaking in on goal, but the Sporting KC Academy product’s near-post effort was well blocked by Joe Kuzminsky.
Dick was called into action again in the 55th minute when Charleston countered on the Rangers and the Sporting KC loanee managed to tip Romario Piggott’s rasping low effort around the post. Eight minutes later, Ian Svantesson worked himself a yard of space in the area and lashed an effort toward the near post that Dick palmed away into the side-netting.
Dick was getting worked harder and harder as the half wore on, diving to his right in the 66th minute to deny Angelo Kelly’s toe-poked effort from just inside the area. Off the ensuing corner kick, the ball bounced back across the area and Piggott’s attempt on the turn flew narrowly wide.
The Rangers had an opportunity to take the lead in the 81st minute when Mark Segbers was chopped down on the edge of the area, and Wan Kuzain stepped up to take the free kick – striking a knuckling ball that Kuzminsky did well to beat away with two fists.
The home side was pushing for the winner and went close again in the 83rd minute when Hernandez roared down the left side of the area and played a ball across the face of the six-yard box with nobody on hand to tap it home. Segbers picked the ball up and his cutback to Kuzain was expertly blocked by the Charleston backline.
In the 87th minute, Charleston threatened once again as another bad turnover in the back allowed Nico Rittmeyer, only seconds onto the field as a sub, an effort from the edge of the area that beat Dick but ricocheted off the outside of the post. Moments later, Hernandez lined up an effort from 20 yards that was spilled and cleared to safety by Kuzminsky as both sides posted a clean sheet with the scoreless draw.
The Rangers remain at home this weekend as the side prepares to face off against North Carolina FC at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, Sept. 14 with kickoff set for 4 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+, while tickets are available via SeatGeek.com.
2019 USL Championship
Game 26 of 34
Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, KS
Weather: 85 degrees and sunny
|Swope Park Rangers (3-16-7, 16 points)||0||0||0|
|Charleston Battery (8-7-11, 36 points)||0||0||0|
Swope Park Rangers: Eric Dick; Jaylin Lindsey, Kaveh Rad, Rennico Clarke, Alexsander; Ayyoub Allach, Felipe Hernandez (C), Wan Kuzain; Tucker Lepley (Mark Segbers 75’), Wilson Harris (Killian Colombie 86’), Tyler Freeman (Ethan Vanacore-Decker 69’)
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Dylan Hooper, Tucker Stephenson, Rassambek Akhmatov
Charleston Battery: Joe Kuzminsky; Angelo Kelly, Taylor Mueller (C), Leland Archer, Jarad van Schaik; Romario Piggott (Nico Rittmeyer 86’), Tah Anunga, Vincenzo Candela, Dante Marini; Kotaro Higashi (Zeiko Lewis 75’), Ian Svantesson (Arthur Bosua 65’)
Subs Not Used: Phil Breno, AJ Paterson, Ataulla Guerra
SPR – Jaylin Lindsey (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 74’
CHS – Taylor Mueller (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 87’
|Shots on Goal||4||6|
Referee: Brad Jensen
Assistant Referee: Ryan Cook
Assistant Referee: Jack Ryan-Feldman
Fourth Official: Nathan Colling