Following their heartbreaking defeat to FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup earlier this week, the Energy FC travelled to Kansas City to take on USL side Swope Park Rangers in league play.
The two Western Conference sides went into the match hoping to grab three points in order to propel themselves past midtable mediocrity. Before the game, OKC sat in eighth with 16 points while the Swope Park Rangers sat in eleventh with 13 points.
The match took place in Kansas City at Swope Soccer Village, home of the Rangers.
Early into the game, the Swope Park Rangers commanded most of the possession, always making the safe pass, neglecting to take a risky chance. However, in the 6' minute, Rangers forward Nansel Selbol was able to control a well-placed cross from midfielder Ayrton, shooting it with pace on the ground, skimming off the foot of Energy FC's Kyle Hyland into the goal in order to put SPR up by one early.
The rest of the half remained controlled. Both sides were playing safe, refusing to add flair to the attack. As the half moved on, the two Western Conference clubs began to get chippy, which added much-needed life to the game.
On the stroke of half-time in the 48' minute, Energy FC midfielder Sebastian Dalgaard placed a beautiful cross into the box, finding Kansas City native Michael Thomas who rose above the defense to head it home.
Both clubs headed into half-time tied at one, but the last minute goal by Thomas led to the Energy coming out into the second half with life.
The Swope Park Rangers returned from half with the same mentality that they began the game with, controlled safe passing. On the other hand, the Energy took to the field ready to fight and track down every ball, catching the Kansas City side off-guard. In the 64' minute, Energy FC striker Wojciech Wojcik hammered home a goal to give his side a 2-1 lead.
Although the OKC club had the lead, they would not let up. Head coach Jimmy Nielsen subbed on attacking midfielder Daniel Gonzalez in order to keep up the pressure. In the 74' minute, Gonzalez broke through the Rangers' defense and fired a shot at goalkeeper Zac Lubin, who parried the save right back at Gonzalez, who placed it easily to the side of the net, giving OKC a 3-1 lead.
The rest of the match saw the Energy control most of the game with few chances coming from Swope Park. As the final whistle blew, the Energy FC continued to their great league form as they defeated SPR 3-1. This defeat for the Rangers' was only their second of the season.
The Oklahoma City Energy FC's next match will take place on June 25, against the Vancouver Whitecaps II, starting at 7:00 PM EST. The match will be aired on the USL's youtube channel.