The Swope Park Rangers got their second win of the season as they beat St. Louis FC by a score of 2-1 at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday afternoon.
Paulo Nagamura was without Sporting Kansas City goalkeepers Adrian Zendejas (suspension) and Eric Dick (one game loan to Tulsa Roughnecks), leaving SPR with just Graham Smith and Wan Kuzain in the Starting XI with Tyler Freeman on the bench on loan from Sporting KC.
St. Louis started off the game as the stronger side in front of their away supporters, but after missing several opportunities, including a certain St. Louis goal blocked by his own teammate in the 12th minute and a header off the post in the 19th minute.
The Rangers found the opener through Felipe Hernandez, who received a pass from Wan Kuzain, and took a couple of touches and placed the shot perfectly past the keeper for his seventh goal of the season. St. Louis gave him way too much time and Hernandez has plenty of time to bury his fourth goal from outside the box this season.
St. Louis found an equalizer but Ethan Vanacore-Decker, who capitalized on the rebound that the keeper was only able to touch out about ten yards out, where Vanacore-Decker made no mistake for what would be the match-winner. It was a very similar goal to Landon Donovan’s memorable goal in the 2010 World Cup to beat Algeria.
As the clock winded to 90 minutes, an incident between Felipe Hernandez and St. Louis’ Bradley Kamden Fewo forced the referee to give a red card to Felipe Hernandez for slapping Fewo on the cheek.
Here is the Felipe red. Very dumb but you can see Fewo puts his right hand on Hernandez's left cheek too. Felipe's reaction is just so much more dramatic it's no surprise he saw red. If VAR existed in USL they may have both had reds. #SPRvSTL #SPRBelieve pic.twitter.com/YPMNHM4fnQ— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) June 30, 2019
Despite the late pressure and having a man advantage for the seven minutes of stoppage time, St. Louis wasn’t able to create any chances as Swope Park Rangers escaped with their first win since May 6th.
It was not the prettiest of performances, but a big win for the Rangers as St. Louis now remains winless in league play since April 27th.
With Sunday’s win, Rangers jumped over Hartford Athletic and Memphis 901 to grab ahold of 16th place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference. Rangers now have a record of 2-6-8 record with twelve points from 16 games in 2019.
The Rangers return home next Sunday, July 7th, for a match with the league-leading Tampa Bay Rowdies at 4:00 PM CT. They played the Rowdies close last time out before losing late.