The Swope Park Rangers (6-20-8, 26 points) suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Indy Eleven (19-9-6, 63 points) in a hard-fought affair at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday night. Rangers striker Wilson Harris notched his team-leading 12th goal of the season but it wasn’t enough as playoff-bound Indy Eleven rode out a 2-1 victory behind a brace from former SPR striker Dane Kelly.
Indy went close in the eighth minute as another former Rangers player, winger Tyler Pasher, sprung in behind, but his low shot was smothered by Eric Dick from a tight angle. In the 14th minute, it was Dane Kelly’s turn to go close, latching onto a Ayoze’s left-wing cross and crashing a header off the crossbar and out.
Dick came up with a terrific stop in the 26th minute, coming out quickly to block Cristian Novoa’s attempt when in on goal following a Rangers turnover deep in their own half.
The Rangers came forward and had their first shot on target in the 39th minute as Felipe Hernandez caused a turnover before finding Wan Kuzain whose shot from 25 yards was well held by Jordan Farr.
Rennico Clarke almost opened the scoring in the final play of the first half as he got on the end of Hernandez’s corner and headed the ball on target with pace, but his attempt flew right into the hands of Farr in the Indy goal.
The deadlock was broken in the 56th minute in controversial fashion as Kelly redirected Ayoze’s cross into the bottom corner, with the ball seemingly coming off his arm on its way into the goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
However, it took the Rangers just one minute to respond as Ethan Vanacore-Decker produced a lung-busting run down the left wing before clipping a delightful cross onto the head of Wilson Harris, who glanced home his team-leading 12th goal of the 2019 season – extending his lead among all teenage goalscorers in the USL Championship.
Indy retook the lead 10 minutes later as Kenney Walker slipped a lovely ball into the path of Kelly behind the SPR backline, and the Jamaican striker took the ball down on his chest before flicking the ball beyond Dick and making the score 2-1 with his 10th goal of the campaign.
Pasher almost added a third in the 73rd minute but his thunderous effort from 15 yards out was repelled by a fingertip save from Dick. The former Rangers attacker almost got himself on the scoresheet again in the 86th minute as his powerful drive from distance flashed just wide of the post as Indy saw the game out to claim all three points.
2019 USL Championship
Game 34 of 34
Lucas Oil Stadium | Indianapolis, IN
Weather: 51 degrees and cloudy
|Swope Park Rangers (6-20-8, 26 points)||0||1||1|
|Indy Eleven (19-9-6, 63 points)||0||2||2|
Swope Park Rangers: Eric Dick; Jaylin Lindsey, Graham Smith (C), Rennico Clarke, Alexsander; Camden Riley (Tyler Freeman 88’), Felipe Hernandez, Wan Kuzain (Tucker Lepley 75’); Ze Pedro, Wilson Harris, Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Mark Segbers 75’)
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Luis Olivera, Kaveh Rad, Jake Davis
Indy Eleven: Jordan Farr; Karl Ouimette, Paddy Barrett (C), Mitch Osmond (Neveal Hackshaw 46’); Drew Conner, Tyler Gibson, Kenney Walker, Ayoze; Cristian Novoa (Ilija Ilic 62’), Dane Kelly (Nico Perea 83’), Tyler Pasher
Subs Not Used: Holden Brown, Matt Watson, Gabriel Rodrigues, Eugene Starikov
IND – Dane Kelly 9 (Ayoze 5) 56’
SPR – Wilson Harris 12 (Ethan Vanacore-Decker 1) 57’
IND – Dane Kelly 10 (Kenney Walker 5) 67’
SPR – Ze Pedro (Yellow Card; Time Wasting) 16’
IND – Mitch Osmond (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 23’
SPR – Ethan Vanacore-Decker (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 29’
SPR – Felipe Hernandez (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 37’
|IND – Drew Conner (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 40’
IND – Neveal Hackshaw (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 61’
|Shots on Goal||3||5|
Referee: Chris Ruska
Assistant Referee: Nick Balcer
Assistant Referee: Christian Little
Fourth Official: Youssef Elmessoussi