Visiting Saint Louis FC Earns 1-1 Draw In Kansas City
Late Goal By Kyle Greig & Save By Sam Fink Gave Saint Louis FC A 1-1 Draw With Swope Park Rangers
Kyle Greig and Sam Fink each made crucial plays Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. Greig’s goal in the 88th minute brought the teams level and Fink’s goal line save in stoppage time preserved the 1-1 draw for Saint Louis FC against the Swope Park Rangers.
STLFC is now 3-1-3 on the season and unbeaten in its last five matches.
Saint Louis FC returns to St. Louis this Saturday for a matchup with Portland Timbers 2. Kickoff at Toyota Stadium in Fenton is set for 7:30 pm.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0997.
Children’s Mercy Park Offers Unique Atmosphere For STLFC
Late last week, the USL announced that all of Swope Park’s remaining home contests this season would be moved to Children’s Mercy Park. Field issues at Shawnee Mission South District Stadium necessitated the move 21 miles north to the home of Major League Soccer’s Sporting KC.
For this past weekend’s contest, just three sections on one side of the stadium were open to fans. The rest of Children’s Mercy Park was roped off, creating a interesting atmosphere for the Saint Louis FC players.
Approximately 100 members of the Saint Louligans supporters group made the trek to Kansas City. The group occupied the top rows of one open section and managed to sound like a much higher percentage of the announced crowd of 900 then their numbers indicated.
Rangers Score First Despite Missing Belmar
An unfortunate bounce less than minutes into the match resulted in Swope Park drawing first blood Saturday. SPR’s Hadji Barry took advantage of the misplayed bounce to loop a high, lofting ball over STLFC’s Jake Fenlason and onto the scoreboard.
The teams played a largely back-and-forth game for much of the next 80 minutes with both teams creating scoring opportunities.
Swope Park was playing without Kharlton Belmar, whose seven goals this season lead the USL this season. Belmar traveled to Foxborough, Massachusetts Saturday with Sporting KC and saw his first MLS action of the season.
Second Half Substitutes Key For Pulis
As the second half progressed on Saturday, STLFC coach Anthony Pulis made three important changes on the field. Greig entered the game in the 62nd minute and Albert Dikwa was substituted on eight minutes later.
Edward Opoku, recently signed on loan from the Columbus Crew, was the third and final substitute by Pulis in the 77th minute.
The fresh legs of the Greig, Dikwa and Opoku led to multiple scoring chances for the visitors and the clock on the field wound down.
In the 88th minute, Dikwa sent a ball from the top corner of the penalty area behind the Ranger defense. The right foot of a sliding Greig redirected the ball and brought the Chupacabras even.
Time to replay @RageKage22‘s goal a thousand times😃 pic.twitter.com/QCoZ4zvOXx
— Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) April 29, 2018
Fink Makes Save Of The Match
The Saint Louis FC defense has been excellent thus far this season, leading to three clean sheets. In the 92nd minute, it was defender Sam Fink who made the save of the match.
A Swope Park cross led to Rodrigo Saravia driving a header passed Fenlason. Fink, seeing the play developing, broke for a spot on the goal line before Saravia made contact with the ball. Fink chested the ball up and over the goal, resulting in a corner kick rather than a game-winner for the home side.
The play earned Fink the Gateway Realty Save of the Match.
We’re still trying to figure out exactly how @samfink4’s game-saving clearance was physically possible…
And of course, it’s this week’s Gateway Realty Saint Louis Move of the Match. pic.twitter.com/yZDMN8b4gt
— Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) April 29, 2018
Pulis Thought Three Points Were Within Reach
In his remarks after the match, Anthony Pulis said he was proud of his team.
“I’m really proud of the guys tonight for the character they showed to keep fighting until the end,” said Pulis. “I’m actually a little disappointed we didn’t get all three points as I thought we created numerous, really good chances to win the game”
Chupacabras Take On Timbers 2 Saturday
STLFC will try to extend its unbeaten streak to six for the first time in club history this Saturday at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. Kickoff for the matchup with Portland Timbers 2 is set for 7:30 pm.
Fans can purchase a Cinco De Mayo all-inclusive ticket for just $25 in advance of Saturday’s match. In addition to a general admission ticket, fans will also enjoy a pregame reception featuring a taco & nacho buffet and unlimited draft beers.
Check back to RealLifeSTL later this week for a preview of this weekend’s game.
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