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SAFC Ends Rangers’ Home Streak

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 05/26/17, 10:39PM EDT

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O’Ojong’s first goal for San Antonio keeps Western leaders undefeated


Photo courtesy Nick Tre. Smith / Swope Park Rangers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – San Antonio FC scored early in the second half to defeat the Swope Park Rangers 1-0 on Friday night, in the process extending its undefeated start to 11 games and becoming the first team to defeat the Swope Park Rangers at Children’s Mercy Victory Field since Sept. 3, 2016. The Rangers (4-4-0, 12pts) dominated possession early, and Nansel Selbol forced a save from San Antonio’s Diego Restrepo in the 15th minute with a chipped effort that was tipped over. Moments later Kevin Oliveira was put through on goal, but elected to try and pass instead of shooting, allowing Restrepo to claw it away from Selbol. San Antonio (9-0-2, 29pts) almost punished the hosts immediately as a counter-attack released Billy Forbes down the left, but his low shot went off the near post and behind for a goal kick. SPR’s Kharlton Belmar had a good chance saved from the left side of the penalty area in the 37th minute, but it was San Antonio that took the lead eight minutes into the second half when a counter-attack down the right saw Kris Trypak pick out Mark O’Ojong at the back post for a headed finish and the advantage. Oliveira almost answered a few minutes later as his free kick from 20 yards just went over, and the Cape Verde playmaker also flashed a volley from the top of the penalty area just off target with nine minutes to go, but despite Swope Park’s late pressure, San Antonio emerged with all three points.

Scoring: 
53’ – SA – Mark O’Ojong (Kris Trypak)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. San Antonio’s defensive patience was tested more than it had been in any game this season by the Rangers, but when SAFC’s chance to strike came it was again put away with outstanding efficiency. From the ball upfield from Michael Reed that saw Kris Tyrpak streaking into space left by Swope Park pushing its fullbacks high, to Tyrpak’s patience to wait for the runners to arrive and his delivery to pick out Mark O’Ojong at the back post for a clinical finish, San Antonio showed again how it didn’t need much of an opening to take advantage.

  • 2. Swope Park will have been disappointed it hadn’t put itself in front in the first half as it showed that while the San Antonio defense is excellent, it’s not impregnable. Kevin Oliveira’s decision to try and make one more pass to find Nansel Selbol in the 17th minute was maybe the most glaring example, but there were other chances like Kharlton Belmar’s late in the first half that with a more clinical finish could have given the hosts a crucial lead.

  • 3. With the distinctive styles both teams brought in full to the game, and a rematch at Toyota Field eight days away in the conclusion of the home-and-home series, it will be interesting to see what – if any – adjustments either side makes. San Antonio will have to deal with an additional game in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Wednesday night, which could give SPR an edge in terms of recuperation, but next Saturday’s game should still make for as fascinating a game as this encounter was.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match

Stephen McCarthy, San Antonio FC – McCarthy recorded nine clearances and three interceptions as the SAFC defense held firm under pressure for most of the contest.

Upcoming Games:
Swope Park Rangers
at San Antonio FC – June 3, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
San Antonio FC vs. Swope Park Rangers – June 3, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field

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