This evening saw an exciting, action packed affair at Swope Soccer Village as the Rangers downed the LA Galaxy II by a final score of 3-0. The referee made things difficult for both teams and it was a stalemate for most of the night. But once the Rangers got on the board they were able to pour it on and advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.
It wasn’t until the 76’ minute Swope Park was able to break through. Tyler Pasher took the ball down the left flank and sent a perfect cross to the back post. Kris Tyrpak was all alone and calmly lined himself up as the ball floated to him. Then he directed the ball back across the keeper and into the side netting with his forehead. The textbook cross and finish put The Rangers of Swope in front and they wouldn’t look back.
SPR began the match on the front foot and forced multiple saves out of keeper Clement Diop in first five minutes. They were moving the ball around, pushing forward and looked fit for an early lead in the club’s first playoff game.
In the 9’ minute Adonis Amaya was called for a terrible foul on Ever Alvarado. The Galaxy II man appeared to, for all intents and purposes, punch Alvarado. However, referee Guido Gonzales Jr. simply decided to show a yellow allowing him to continue the match.
The visitors were able to shift the momentum their direction and Ariel Lassiter threatened to take the lead several times. SPR keeper Adrian Zendejas made a fantastic save on a Lassiter breakaway and then Amer Didic was able to spoil a beautiful passing series by blocking Lassiter’s shot from point blank range. But the biggest chance of the half came in the 40’ minute when the ball fell to Lassiter about 25 yards out. He had acres of space to wind up and fire a bullet on target. Zendejas made a phenomenal effort in diving to his right to parry the shot away from harm.
It was an absolutely wild first half that was wide open with very questionable calls going both ways, countless chippy fouls and fantastic saves. But no goals for either side.
The referee continued his horrendous night when in the 58’ minute, Alejandro Covarrubias took down Ayrton from directly behind. Covarrubias was five yards behind the ball, but slid in for a challenge with his boot at Ayrton’s knees taking him down. It was a blatant tactical foul as The Rangers were streaking towards goal with numbers in their favor. However referee Gonzalez decided once again, a yellow was suffice.
The disgusting tackles from LA were not done yet. Jose Villareal elbowed Tommy Meyer in the face just minutes later. It was yet another play that should have been a straight red card, but Villareal’s night was done anyway as he was given his second yellow.
After Tyrpak put the Rangers ahead, the Galaxy II were desperate to draw level. They were throwing every man forward including the keeper for a couple of corner kicks. But SPR made them pay as substitute Marc Anthony Gonzalez added two more goals in stoppage time. Swope was able to beat LA on the counter and Gonzalez walked both goals into the net.
Swope Park advances to the USL Western Conference Semifinals and will play next Sunday.