The Little Rock Rangers defeated FC Wichita by a final score of 1-0 Saturday night to move into the top spot in the NPSL’s Heartland Conference standings.
Leo Ferri scored the Rangers’ lone goal in the 89th minute from the penalty spot. Ferri won the penalty after an FC Wichita defender tackled Ferri in the box as he was trying to settle a long pass. Ferri slotted the ball just over the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms and into the back of the net before wheeling into celebration with his teammates.
Ferri was awarded the Man of the Match award by his coach after the game.
“Leo was provided an extra day of rest this past week, which benefited him for this game,” Rangers Head Coach Will Montgomery said. “He had a couple of chances in the first and second half, which I thought he was going to score soon. However, he was fouled late in the second half inside the penalty area. Thereafter, he took the kick and scored, earning us a vital 3 points going into the final stages of our conference.”
Despite scoring only one goal, both teams had many scoring chances. The Rangers had a few chances on goal in the first half, while FC Wichita hit the post twice in the second half.
“FC Wichita is a solid team,” Montgomery said. “They deserve praise for the way they play soccer. However, I was pleased with our player’s approach up to this game. We were very organized defensively, and were composed in front of the goal.”
Wichita was the conference’s leading team coming into Saturday’s game. Little Rock and Wichita are now tied for first with 13 points each. Little Rock technically leads Wichita as they have a head-to-head win.
The Rangers have yet to lose a game this season.
Little Rock will face in-state rivals Ozark FC for the first time in history next Saturday, June 24. The game will kick off in Bentonville at 7:00 pm.