USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
TUCSON, Ariz. – A late goal by Mark Anthony Gonzalez earned the Swope Park Rangers a 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday night, keeping the Rangers undefeated at the Desert Diamond Cup at the Kino Sports Complex.
Gonzalez’s goal came in the final minute, as Swope Park earned a corner kick on the left. Alex Molano swung in a cross that was headed back across goal from the back post by Ezra Armstrong, which allowed Gonzalez to chest the ball home for the equalizer.
Swope Park rallied back twice to earn the draw, as Columbus took its first lead in the 35th minute when Cedrick Mabwati’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was only parried by SPR goalkeeper Jon Kempin, which allowed Federico Higuain to tap home the rebound.
The Rangers hit back quickly, as Kris Tyrpak’s challenge for a cross from the left saw the ball fall loose in front of goal. Tomas Granitto seized upon the opportunity and fired home a finish past Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark.
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Columbus retook the lead midway through the second half when new signing Ola Kamara fed a pass through to Ethan Finlay in the penalty area. The recent U.S. call-up cut past his defender and sent a low shot into the corner of the net to make it 2-1.Crew SC had a chance to take a two-goal lead with 13 minutes to go when Emil Larsen broke in on goal with only Kempin to beat, but blasted his finish over the crossbar. Gonzalez’s late finish made that miss prove costly, as the Rangers continued to perform well in their inaugural preseason.