Storms pass, rivers crest, referees are found, and the Little Rock Rangers traveled to Springfield, MO to make up a cancelled match against Heartland Conference rivals Demize NPSL on Wednesday night. The Rangers won 2-0 and now hold second place in the conference with a record of 3-2.
The Stags were extremely aggressive from the starting whistle taking early shots before the clock reached double digits. Possession was primarily theirs for most of the first half. This paid off in the 24th minute with a beautiful pass from forward Alex Guadron to Donald Benamna to give the Rangers the early lead 1-0.
The goal may have woken up Demize a bit as they started pressuring the Rangers defense but never really got into the box or got a solid chance on goal. Trevor Reed subbed in for Ulises Caba Cordova who appeared to have pulled up from a hamstring strain. The halftime score remained 1-0.
At the half, Robel Dent was subbed on for Alex Guadron and Demize looked to have adjusted their game plan to soften the Rangers’ pressure. The Rangers appeared to have avoided a penalty kick call and then Reed made his presence known not only with a brilliant block on a rebounded chance but also two shots on goal at 62 and 63 minutes.
Benamna went full Benamna on the Demize backline, threading his way through them as a one-man attacking force into the penalty area, sinking the ball past the goalkeeper in the 78th minute. 2-0 Rangers.
Additional substitutions in the second half included Carlos Beltran for Daishi Uekuri and, during stoppage time, Jake Askew came in for Walid Birrou who took a hard hit and had to be assisted off the field by staff.
Solely holding on to second place, the Rangers next face number one ranked Tulsa Athletic at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 7:00 pm for an extremely important three points.
24′ Demize NPSL 0 – Little Rock Rangers 1 (Benamna, Guadron-assist)
78′ Demize NPSL 0 – Little Rock Rangers 2 (Benamna)