skip navigation

Rangers Find Form In Close Loss At AHFC Royals

By Trent Eskola, 05/23/21, 12:45PM CDT


It was not the return to Texas that the Little Rock Rangers had planned, it had been over two years since the Rangers last played in Texas. With that match being a win over Laredo Heat, the Rangers this time faced a more established side in AHFC Royals out of Houston. In the clubs first ever away trip in their USL League Two history, the side fell 3-2 although playing the better of the two. The match saw two Rangers make their debut.

On a night filled with heavy rain and strong wind, the Rangers found themselves behind at the half-time break after the hosts tapped in a high cross that went through the finger-tips of the Little Rock goalkeeper. The Rangers did however take the most chances in the first half with the first real chance coming 28 minutes in when Fort Smith-native, Christian Chavez struck a half-volley from just outside the penalty area which was met by a strong fist from the AHFC goalkeeper.

The second half began well in the Rangers favor, when Masood Porsa took the ball down the left flank and met the AHFC goalkeeper coming miles off his line. Porsa attempted to just chip it over the goalkeeper who was now outside of the area. The ball took a wild deflection off the goalkeeper's hands which was seen by the official. AHFC would need to play a man-down for the remaining 40 minutes with their back-up goalkeeper. From about 24 yards out, long-time captain Nick Doyle hit a left-footed strike which nestled into the bottom corner.

Just eight minutes later, AHFC got the lead back off a counter-attack from a high-pressing Rangers back-line. And would get their third to extend their lead to 3-1 in the 65th minute after a wonderful save from Justin Hinman fell right to the feet of an attacker. The Rangers never gave up though and Nick Doyle got his brace(second goal) just two minutes later after a failed AHFC clearance from a Little Rock corner kick.

While time still remained, the Rangers were unable to grab the equalizer late on, which saw out a second-consecutive defeat for the Little Rock side.

The Rangers continue their USL League Two inaugural season with back-to-back home matches first against Mississippi Brilla FC on May 28 at 7:00 pm and second against Texas United on June 2 at 7:00 pm at War Memorial Stadium.