COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – George Lebese’s late equalizer brought Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC all the way back to earn a 4-4 draw against Austin Bold FC on Wednesday night at Weidner Field as the hosts rallied from a four-goal halftime deficit to earn a point.
The game was the seventh 4-4 draw in the Championship’s history, and the first in which one team had rallied back from a four-goal deficit to score four consecutive goals to even the contest.
Austin had taken the lead in just the second minute as a cross from the left by Sean McFarlane found Billy Forbes in the center of the penalty area before the Turks & Caicos international produced a good first touch and close-range finish.
Less than a minute later, Bold FC doubled its advantage as Forbes almost broke through the back line again. A key challenge took the opportunity away from him, but caromed to Xavier Baez, who laid a pass back to Kleber for a low shot from 25 yards that picked out the bottom-left corner of the penalty area.
Austin made it a three-goal advantage seven minutes before halftime as Kleber pursued the ball into the penalty area and won possession and set up an advancing Baez for a sweeping shot into the left corner of the net. The in the final minute of the half, Fabien Garcia flicked on a corner kick by Baez from the right at the near post to an unmarked Forbes, who tapped home his second goal of the game.
As quickly as momentum had swung Austin’s way to start the game, though, the Switchbacks matched them in the second half. Just three minutes after the break, Aidan Daniels wove into the left side of the penalty area and cut back a cross to Christian Volesky near the top of the six-yard area that the veteran striker roofed home.
Volesky almost added his second of the night seven minutes later as a deep corner kick from the right by Lebese found him at the back post only for his header to carom into the turf and sail over the crossbar. The Switchbacks’ second arrived in the 59th minute, though, as Lebese found Andre Lewis at the top of the penalty area and the Jamaican cut past one defender as he drove to his right and fired home a low shot to the left corner.
Five minutes later, Volesky had his second as he surged through a pair of defenders and had his initial shot saved by Bold FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, only for the rebound to sit up kindly to allow him to finish at the second opportunity and make it a one-goal game with 26 minutes to go.
In danger of losing its lead, Austin almost grabbed an insurance goal twice in the final 10 minutes. First a free kick by Baez in the left channel found Garcia in the center of the penalty area for a flicked header that Switchbacks goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez tipped over the crossbar. Then from the ensuing corner kick, Alasanne Ates Diouf got up highest at the near post to meet Baez’s delivery but once again Rodriguez was equal to the challenge to keep Colorado Springs within one.
Then with six minutes to go, Lebese picked up possession just outside the right edge of the penalty area, cut toward the center across the top of the box and unleashed a left-footed strike that tucked just inside the left post and brought the hosts level.
Bold FC produced one final chance to grab all three points in stoppage time as Ish Jome tried to curl a shot from the top-left edge of the penalty area into the top-right corner of the net, but Rodriguez claimed the effort comfortably and ensured his side would take home its share of the points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Christian Volesky, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Volesky scored twice to lead the Switchbacks’ second-half comeback and had eight shots overall while recording two key passes.