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Hernandez equalizer salvages point for Rangers

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Following a lengthy delay, the Rangers fought their way back but leave Charleston frustrated.

Hernandez is the leading scorer for the Rangers
Thad Bell

Felipe Hernandez notched his sixth goal of the season to get Swope Park Rangers a draw against the Charleston Battery.

Paulo Nagamura used three Sporting Kansas City players for the trip to Charleston: Adrian Zendejas, Wan Kuzain, and Graham Smith (which likely means that this is a rare occasion because Besler, Fontas, and Barath are all fit for Sporting’s match on Sunday). This was SPR’s fifteenth different starting XI this season.

The game was delayed 75 minutes due to lightning, and it was clear that the pitch was not in its greatest condition. The first half ended scoreless with not too many clear chances for either team.

Charleston finally broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute after a cross was sent in that Camden Riley made a mess of the clearance, which went through his legs and rolled to Romario Piggott, who finished it despite Zendejas getting a touch to give the home side the 1-0 advantage.

Swope Park Rangers found the equalizer from Felipe Hernandez, who fired a curling effort past the keeper with his right foot from outside the box.

As time was running out, a frustrated Ian Svantesson of Charleston took out his frustration on Ayyoub Allach by making no attempt for the ball and just kicking the Rangers midfielder in the midsection. Adrian Zendejas didn’t appreciate that, which prompted him to come racing out to past midfield, which the referee didn’t appreciate and gave him a second yellow.

The Swope Park Rangers are headed back home with a point, taking them to nine points on the season, but keeping them dead last in the East Conference of the USL Championship. The Battery are now in eighth place of the same division and sit on 22 points.

The Rangers return home to Children’s Mercy Park for a tasty match against St. Louis FC on Sunday, June 30, at 4:00 PM.