Photo courtesy Nick Tre. Smith / Swope Park Rangers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Swope Park Rangers scored three second-half goals to pull away from San Antonio FC in a 5-2 victory at Children’s Mercy Victory Field on Sunday afternoon. The Rangers took the lead in the 11th minute from the penalty spot after Christian Duke was brought down in the penalty area. Nansel Selbol stepped up to take and put home his sixth goal of the season into the right corner of the net. San Antonio almost hit back six minutes later when a shot by Billy Forbes was came back off the left post, but in the 20th minute Owayne Gordon struck for the visitors as he put away a cross by Forbes to level the score. Swope Park almost regained the lead as Kharlton Belmar got to a free kick before SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, but was unable to redirect his header on target, and Belmar almost set up Duke in the 42nd minute, only for Cyprian Hedrick to make an excellent last-ditch block. Tyler Pasher was next to go close for the hosts a minute later as his chance was closed down by Restrepo, but in first-half stoppage time Felipe Hernandez found the right corner of the net from a free kick to restore the Rangers’ lead. Belmar went close again less than a minute into the second half, only for Restrepo to get down well to save, but just past the hour-mark a good move down the left set up Selbol for his second of the game. Belmar then got his reward for a good performance with the Rangers’ fourth in the 65th minute, while Max Rugova notched his first professional goal with 11 minutes to go to complete the rout after a 20-pass sequence ended up releasing Mark Anthony Gonzalez down the left to send in a low cross for Rugova to finish. Forbes scored a consolation goal with five minutes to go for SAFC, but that proved all for the visitors as the Rangers ran out winners.
11’ – SPR – Nansel Selbol (penalty)
20’ – SA – Owayne Gordon (Billy Forbes)
45+’ – SPR – Felipe Hernandez
62’ – SPR – Nansel Selbol (Tyler Pasher)
65’ – SPR – Kharlton Belmar
79’ – SPR – Max Rugova (Mark Anthony Gonzalez)
85’ – SA – Billy Forbes
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Rangers were looking for a reaction to last week’s dispiriting result against Orange County SC, and with the exception of a good spell for their visitors midway through the first half Swope Park got exactly the sort of attacking display it would have hoped for as Nansel Selbol struck twice and the side threatened San Antonio’s net consistently. Swope Park is now solidly in the top four, and will be hoping there are more days ahead like this when the club’s passing was crisp and the finishing clinical in its highest-scoring performance of the season.
2. Entering its final game of a four-game road trip, the mileage that had come before certainly appeared to have a major effect as San Antonio conceded the most goals in a single game in its short history. As solid as the side looked defensively against Orange County SC on Wednesday night, the opposite applied against the Rangers as the visitors were regularly cut open by some incisive passing in the final third. There’ll be disappointment that SAFC wasn’t able to further cut the game to Real Monarchs SLC after the Western Conference-leader’s loss on Saturday night, but more important is going to be a good week of rest before South Texas rival Rio Grande Valley FC visits Toyota Field next Saturday.
3. Swope Park forward Kharlton Belmar was one of two players announced as having signed MLS contracts on Friday with Sporting Kansas City, and while the 2015 USL Rookie of the Year didn’t get his debut on Saturday like Kevin Oliveira, he celebrated the news in some style on Sunday afternoon. Belmar won possession in all seven of his combined regular and aerial duels, and almost slipped in Christian Duke in the first half with a great cross from the right. His performance was duly rewarded in the second half as he notched his 11th goal of the season, highlighting the reason for SKC’s confidence in him.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Nansel Selbol, Swope Park Rangers – Selbol notched another pair of goals to give him seven for the season as the Rangers swept to victory in an impressive attacking performance.
Swope Park Rangers at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – September 23, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field
San Antonio FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – September 23, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field