KANSAS CITY, KS — After 90 minutes of regulation time, 30 minutes of extra time and 22 penalty kicks, the Swope Park Rangers came away with a 7-6 win over OKC Energy FC Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park, giving the Rangers their second straight USL Western Conference title.
With the teams knotted at five scores apiece in the 11th round of penalty kicks, Swope Park keeper Adrián Zendejas stopped his counterpart, OKC goalkeeper, C.J. Cochran’s shot to give the Rangers a chance to win the match with one more successful penalty kick. On the ensuing kick, Zendejas booted a right-footed shot into the lower-left part of the net, past Cochran, giving Swope Park the USL Western Conference title.
The match reached penalty kicks after the teams were scoreless for more than 120 minutes. Each team managed just three shots on goal in the mostly defensive contest.
OKC’s best chances came in the first half, with Jose Angulo getting a pair of chances in the Swope Park box, with each shot narrowly missing the net. Angulo led OKC with three shots, one of which on goal.
Swope Park held an attacking advantage throughout the second half and extra time period. The Rangers nearly grabbed the lead in the 73rd minute, when Nansel Selbol got behind the OKC defense and fired a shot from inside the box that Energy FC defender Mickey Daly made a sliding play on to deflect wide of the net.
In the 103rd minute, Swope Park threatened again as Lebo Meloto put a wide open shot on goal from inside the OKC six, but Cochran made a quick hand save to keep the match scoreless.
Energy FC’s elimination from the 2017 USL Playoffs came after the club won two playoff games for the time in team history. In 2015, the club earned a first round bye before defeating Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the semifinal round and ultimately losing to LA Galaxy II in the conference final. Last year, OKC downed Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in the quarterfinal round prior to being eliminated by Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 in the semifinals.
Swope Park will face Louisville City FC on Monday, Nov. 13, for the USL Championship.
Tag(s): Game Recaps