Saint Louis FC Gives Perhaps Best Performance Of 2018 In 2-0 Win Over Swope Park Saturday
Saturday’s Saint Louis FC match with Swope Park started off on the wrong foot with thunderstorm delaying the start of the match and keeping multiple fans in their cars passed the scheduled start time.
Once the game got underway, however, the rain largely held off and Saint Louis FC played some of its best soccer of 2018 in earning a 2-0 win over the visiting Swope Park Rangers.
Joey Calistri and Corey Hertzog scored for the Chupacabras. Tomás Gómez earned the clean sheet in front of 3,450 fans at Toyota Stadium in Fenton.
Saint Louis FC is now 4-4-5 on the season for 17 points. The Swope Park Rangers dropped to 5-3-4 (19 points) on the season with the loss.
Riding a six-match winless streak in USL play, Saint Louis FC put pressure the visitors from the opening whistle. The first scoring chance for the home side came just 30 seconds into the match on a ball played into the box to Albert Dikwa by Calistri.
Youngster Aedan Stanley created multiple scoring chances for STLFC with his booming corner kicks in the opening 20 minutes of play.
In the 21st minute, Kyle Culbertson crossed a ball in front of the Rangers goal to Calistri, but the defender was just able to deflect Calistri’s attempt. Culbertson was able to rush onto the loose ball, but he was upended by a sliding defender.
Minutes later, Dikwa was pulled down as he attempted to split two Swope Park defenders. The head referree ruled that he was pulled down in the penalty area and Corey Hertzog buried the penalty to open the scoring.
The already chippy match turned chippier in the closing minutes of the first half. STLFC’s Lewis Hilton and two Swope Park players were shown yellow cards within a five-minute span before halftime.
The rough play continued after halftime with STLFC captain Jonathan Barden being shown a yellow card in 64th minute, but it was a yellow card shown five minutes later that would change the game.
Swope Park defender Bryam Rebellón was shown his second yellow card of the match in the 69th minute.
With the visitors down to ten men, the home side was able to finally convert one of its multiple scoring chances.
In the 77th minute, Joey Calistri gave the home fans the insurance goal they had been hoping for. Kyle Greig, who entered the match seconds before, was able to touch a ball to Calistri in the penalty area on the far side of the goal. Calistri was able to bury the ball into the opposite corner of the net.
Gomez, who earned the clean sheet in front of his hometown fans, told Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the match that he appreciated the goal as well.
Gomez added: “Great win. When that second one went in, I think we all felt a little better about things.”
Calistri and Greig almost made it 3-0 seconds later, but the latter couldn’t get his head on the ball. The obvious fact that his hand and then jersey were being held by the defender seemed to be ignored by the head referee.
As the seconds ticked away in second half stoppage time, the STLFC defense was able to head away dangrous scoring opportunities on both a free kick and a corner kick.
Watch the Gateway Arch highlights of Saint Louis FC’s 2-0 win over the Swope Park Rangers below.
But Mondays after watching STLvSPR highlights are👍 pic.twitter.com/DhkTwUbuD5
— Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) June 4, 2018
In his comments following the match, STLFC head coach Anthony Pulis expressed his delight at the night’s result.
“I think everyone responded well and I knew we had a good group of players and that we had a good mentality within the group,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “With the difficult and frustrating results—sometimes you have spells as a football club with ups and downs—we have gone through some adversity earlier than we would have liked but we came through it with a fantastic performance. I’m extremely delighted for everyone at the club—the players, the staff, the fans—and now it’s important we kick on from here.”
Saint Louis FC is on the road in Oklahoma next Satruday, June 9. The Chupacabras will take on Tulsa Roughnecks FC at ONEOK Field in Tulsa. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7: 30 pm CT and will be shown in the St. Louis area on KPLR 11 as well as streamed through the ESPN+ service.
STLFC next plays at Toyota Stadium at World Wide Technology Soccer Park on Saturday, June 16. That match against Real Monarchs SLC is again scheduled for a 7:30 pm kickoff. The Monarchs are in first place in the USL West with a 9-2-1 record and 28 points on the season.
Tickets for the June 16 match can be purchased in advance at SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0977.
Before the June 16th game, STLFC players will be wearing special Mission Taco warm-up jerseys in honor of PRIDE month.
STLFC players will wear @MissionTacoSTL warm-up jerseys w/ LGBTQ+ pride flag colors in June. Limited amounts of the jerseys will be available at our June 16th home game. Also, there will be an online auction for game-worn jerseys starting in the middle of June.
— Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) June 1, 2018
Be sure to check back to RealLifeSTL on Wednesday for a preview of this weekend’s match.
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