For the first time since August of 2016, the Swope Park Rangers dropped a game at home, falling 1-0 at home last night to San Antonio FC. The Rangers had been unbeaten in their last nine games at the Swope Soccer Village before last night's loss as the Rangers fall to 4-4-0 on the season and San Antonio improves to 9-0-2.
The Rangers controlled the vast majority of the game, finishing with 77% possession for the entire game, but were undone by a 53rd minute counter attack by San Antonio's Mark O'Ojong off an assist from former Ranger, Kris Tyrpak.
The first half saw both teams earn a number of decent chances; the Rangers' best chance came through Nansel Selbol who had a shot tipped over the bar by San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo in the 15th minute. Minutes later Kevin Oliveira tried to set up Selbol again but Restrepo cut out the through ball to him. San Antonio's best chances came through their leading scorer, Billy Forbes as he hit the post in the 18th minute after getting some space down the wing. He also forced a good save from goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas on a free kick later in the half.
The game changed early in the second half when San Antonio capitalized on a counter attack down the Rangers left hand side. Tyrpak played a long lofted ball across the field to the on rushing O'Ojong who headed the ball past Zendejas and into the net to make it 1-0.
From there, the Rangers' possession really started to pick up as San Antonio started to sit deeper with the lead, inviting Swope Park forward, but packing middle of the field not really allowing the Rangers to get any clear looks. Many times the Rangers' possession would see them work the ball up one side, turn around play it back to a center back who would switch the field and the Rangers would attack the opposite wing before turning and switching fields again. San Antonio really frustrated the Rangers attack as they couldn't get any clear looks on Restrepo's goal.
When they did get clear looks though they couldn't get a shot on goal. The best chance fell to Oliveira in the 81st minute as a ball into the box was headed out right to him at the top of the 18; Oliveira brought the ball down with his chest and hit a volley that went over the bar. Given some of the strikes Oliveira hit last season, he should have been able to get that shot on frame. The Rangers defense had to be aware of the counter still though, even though San Antonio sat deep they still were a threat, Amer Didic and Liam Doyle did well to cut out those counters quickly and get possession back for Swope Park.
The Rangers had one last chance, seven minutes into second half stoppage time as Oliveira played a low free kick near the near post for substitute Cameron Iwasa, the Sporting KC loanee got a touch on it and directed a shot on goal, but there wasn't enough pace on it and Restrepo covered it up.
The Rangers will now go on the road next weekend to play San Antonio on the road, looking to end their unbeaten run and shutout streak.