The Swope Park Rangers opened up the 2017 season in a big way as they took down OKC Energy FC 3-1 at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday night.
Kharlton Belmar, Latif Blessing and Daniel Salloi were all on the scoresheet for the Rangers.
Both teams traded opportunities in the first half. In the 7th minute, the Rangers’ Felipe Hernandez put his shot just wide in the box, then OKC Energy followed that up in the 22nd minute when had the net open in front of him but his shot clanged off the post and the match stayed scoreless.
The Energy opened up the scoring just one minute later, however. Off a corner kick, Kansas City local Coady Andrews sent a bullet header towards goal to open his account for the year and to put the Energy up 1-0.
The Rangers would answer before the half. Off a low pass from the outside of the box from Parker Maher, Kharlton Belmar one-touched the ball into the net from about 10 yards out to equalize the match. Belmar scored in his Rangers’ debut.
The 1-1 score would take the teams into the half all knotted up.
The Rangers opened the game up in the second half. Latif Blessing opened up his Rangers’ account in the 62nd minute when Daniel Salloi crossed the ball in and Blessing put it home to give the Rangers the lead.
Swope Park doubled their lead in the 71st minute. Christian Duke slid a ball in between two defenders to Salloi, who finished the goal and put the Rangers up 3-1.
With the lead, the Rangers controlled the rest of the match and even had a man advantage for a brief moment when Jose Barril was given a second yellow in the 93rd minute for dissent, which took him out of the game for the final seconds. The Rangers finished with a 3-1 victory.
Next up for SPR is another home match as they host Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday.