KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – Swope Park Rangers defeated Saint Louis FC on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park. The final score was 1-0 with Hadji Barry scoring the only goal of the contest.
Kyle Greig Goal Rescues Point for Saint Louis FC in 1-1 Draw at Swope Park
The home side came out and was the better team for the opening 20 minutes. They didn’t waste any time getting going as Hadji Barry scored in the 3rd minute with a chip over Saint Louis FC goalkeeper Jake Fenlason after a long ball bounced through several players and found Barry. Swope saw most of the ball after that creating several chances.
Saint Louis gradually stabilized and looked to score on set pieces. Christian Volesky got a chance in the 23rd minute with a half-volley, but he skied it off the frame of the goal. The visitors would get several other opportunities, including header chances for Sam Fink and Volesky. Despite all their scoring chances, STLFC players put them way off target or right at goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod until the final minutes of the game.
Substitute Kyle Greig ended the frustration for the visitors in the 87th minute, scoring on a cross to tie it up. Swope had a good chance in stoppage time, but Fink cleared the header off the bar and over the bar. The match ended 1-1.
Saint Louis finishing: In terms of the build-up play, STLFC were the better team. They got the ball in dangerous areas with players in position to scores. Collectively, the team did a poor job of finishing. They’ll definitely be working on headers next week in training. Saint Louis were probably the better side in that respect, but not good enough to earn more than a draw.
Late game excitement: Both teams got good looks on set pieces in this game and in many ways relied on them with the midfielders playing to a stalemate. That all changed in the final 10 minutes with both sides attempting to score on the run. That style of play got Saint Louis their goal and nearly gave Swope Park the winner.
A lacking atmosphere: Due to issues with their normal home stadium at Swope Soccer Village, Rangers have moved all their home games (including this one) to Children’s Mercy Park, home of Sporting KC (Swope’s MLS mother club). The club only opened up three sections of the stadium though, all near midfield. Say what you will about their normal atmosphere, at least it’s more full and fans are closer to the action. Most of the noise tonight dissipated in the cavernous MLS stadium and most fans were further from the field.