Swope Park Rangers 2, San Antonio FC 0 SAFC puts playoffs in danger with loss
San Antonio FC’s season has been one of extremes, seemingly defined by winning streaks that appeared to provide a much-needed boost, only to be followed by a losing skid that made it all for naught.
The United Soccer League club’s current teetering act has it on the verge of another extreme — missing the playoffs a year after it fell one win shy of playing for a conference championship and a berth in the league final.
Swope Park Rangers scored two second-half goals to beat SAFC 2-0 Wednesday before a crowd of 573 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. It was the team’s second loss on a current three-matches-in-eight-days road trip.
SAFC (12-11-7, 43 points) lost for the fifth time in its last seven road games and remained in ninth place in the Western Conference with four matches left. That leaves SAFC two points behind eighth-place Reno 1868 FC (12-7-9, 45 points) and three behind seventh-place Saint Louis FC (12-8-10, 46 points). SAFC plays Saturday at Saint Louis FC.
“We’re bitterly disappointed by the result of the match,” SAFC coach Darren Powell said. “It was a fairly even game and that was always going to be the case, and in these games, the first goal is very valuable. We have a short turnaround now and all eyes are on to Saturday for a significant game.”
Swope Park (14-10-7), which lost to SAFC 2-1 on Aug. 25 at Toyota Field and entered Wednesday having had a four-game winning streak snapped, broke opened a scoreless game at the intermission with two scores in the first 30 minutes of the final period.
Hadji Barry put in a pass from Tyler Blackwood in the 51st minute for the game-winner. Blackwood then headed in a pass from Rassambek Akhmatov in the 75th minute to conclude the scoring.
“At this point of the season, it’s about getting the wins that are necessary to get into the playoffs,” SAFC defender Cyprian Hedrick said. “Right now, we’ve dropped two games that we really needed (to take points from), but at the same time, there are still games left for us to get back in. So starting this Saturday, we want to make sure we take care of Saint Louis and go back home and try to get the last three wins with a home-crowd push.”