On a night in which he made four saves in a penalty-kick shootout, Swope Park Rangers goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas’s defensive night was overshadowed.
In the 11th round of the shootout, Zendejas buried the game-winning kick, helping Swope Park defeat the OKC Energy 0-0 (7-6 in penalty kicks) in the USL Western Conference final on Saturday night.
The Rangers, a minor-league affiliate of Sporting Kansas City, will play in the USL championship match for the second straight season. They will travel to face Louisville City FC on Nov. 13.
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The Rangers finished as runner-up in their inaugural season last year.
On Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park, the two teams played to a scoreless draw to force the shootout. Zendejas made four saves in the 11 rounds.
Swope Park whiffed on three potential game-winning attempts. Per league rules, the 11th round of the shootout must be taken by the goalkeepers. After Zendejas thwarted the attempt by his counterpart, OKC’s C.J. Cochran, he stepped to the dot and buried the game-winner. He jumped into the Rangers’ supporter section to celebrate.
OKC Energy is coached by Jimmy Nielsen, the goalkeeper on Sporting Kansas City’s 2013 MLS championship team.