The Little Rock Rangers returned to action on Saturday and picked up their first victory of the season against Heartland Conference newcomer, Saint Louis Club Atletico. The 3-1 road victory gave the Rangers their first points in conference play of the 2018 season.
The Rangers were able to get on the board first when Alex Guadron put one in the back of the net to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead in the 35th minute. The visiting team had a chance to extend their lead further when early in the second half they earned a corner kick. The kick resulted in an opportunity but the Ranger's header went off the crossbar to keep St. Louis within one. In the 53rd minute, the home team scored a goal off of a second chance shot to knot the score at one. The match looked as if it might be headed towards a draw until late in the match when the St. Louis attack gave them a chance to storm ahead. Ranger's keeper, Walid Birrou, saved not one, not two, but three shots to keep the game tied. In the 86th minute, the Rangers mounted a counter-attack and substitute, Donald Benama, put Little Rock ahead with the late goal. Benama then added a goal in extra time to secure the victory for the Rangers.
The performance allowed the Rangers to earn much needed three points in the Heartland Conference and they now sit tied with the Demize NPSL in the fourth position. That deadlock will have a chance to be broken soon enough as the Rangers travel to Branson, Missouri on Friday, June 1 to play the Demize in another Heartland Conference showdown. That game will end the Rangers long stretch of road games and the team will finally get to play back home, at War Memorial Stadium, on June 9 at 7:30pm against St. Louis. Tickets are available at HERE.
The ladies lost a heartbreaker in the final minute on Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City FC scored the winning goal in the 90th minute on a defensive breakdown by the Rangers. The ladies are still struggling to find an offensive scoring threat. Elly Boothe appeared to be the only potential scorer with 2 shots just missing the target.
The ladies are 0-2 in the WPSL South Central Conference and are on the road again this week for a brutal stretch of games. On Wednesday they travel to FC Dallas, then Friday they travel to Branson with the men for a friendly against the Demize who are looking to add a WPSL women's squad in 2019. Finally the ladies will end the road stretch back in Dallas against the Texas Spurs on Sunday. The ladies will be back in Little Rock on June 9 for a double header with the men against the Texas Spurs. The ladies will kick off at 5:00pm