The Little Rock Rangers had their work cut out for them on the road in a USL League Two, Mid South Conference matchup against Round Rock SC. The mid-day kickoff led to the hottest match of the season for the Rangers. As the temperature reached just over 90 degrees at kickoff. The Rangers did not let the heat get to them however and played through the conditions to get all three points in a 1-0 victory.
The Stags had the first true chance after a counter-attack fell to Lance Crabtree who played a cross to Spencer Barber who could not wrap his foot around the ball to get it past the goalkeeper. Barber was very close again after Josiah Ireland played a low cross across goal, just skipping past the outstretched legs of Barber in the 31st minute. Just before halftime, Crabtree made a spectacular turn and was brought down just outside the 18-yard box. Captain Nick Doyle stepped up to take the free-kick, before hitting the five-man wall of Round Rock.
The score was level at the break 0-0. With the Rangers defense not truly being tested.
In the 50th minute, a high cross from Lance Crabtree found Masood Porsa at the back post as he tapped in the opening goal. Porsa made the run from his wingback role and was unmarked as he snuck in to get a tap-in finish. The Rangers had chances to double their lead just moments later when Spencer Barber nearly found the back of the net, but the Round Rock goalkeeper was able to get a touch to push it away.
Josiah Ireland nearly had a volley fly into the top corner just five minutes after the officials called for a hydration break. But it was Adrian Quintero who had the best chances of the game, when he rounded two defenders and had to attempt a tough shot as the goalkeeper ran his way. Quintero’s shot just missed the top corner as he was off-balance and going down with a defender bearing on his back.
In the 86th minute, Quintero made a lovely solo run as he beat multiple defenders and the goalkeeper, but his touch took him too close to the goal-line as his shot clattered with the post and went out of play. The Rangers would have to hold a one goal lead. In the second minute of added time, Nyasha Dube made a run through the midfield, but had his legs swept out from under him after he appeared to be on his way to a potential goal of the season! The ensuing free-kick would see the official blow his whistle for full-time, securing the Rangers all three points on the road.
The win is the second straight for the Stags, as they travel to Mississippi to face Brilla on Wednesday, kickoff is set for 7 P.M. The Rangers then return home on Saturday, June 12 against Round Rock. Kickoff will be 7 P.M. at War Memorial Stadium.