COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Hadji Barry recorded his second consecutive two-goal game to reach double-digit goals for the season to lead Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to a 3-1 victory against New Mexico United at Weidner Field on Friday night.
The game quickly entered a weather delay after just over a minute had been played, but after 53 minutes away from the field New Mexico almost grabbed the lead immediately. Off a free kick that resumed play for the visitors on the right side, Josh Suggs’ delivery found Kalen Ryden for a header that was parried by Switchbacks goalkeeper Sean Melvin before it pinballed around the top of the six-yard area, eventually being sent wide by Amando Moreno.
After thwarting some attacking moves by the Switchbacks, though, United took the lead in the 19th minute as Josh Suggs scored his second goal in as many games off a training ground corner kick. Andrew Tinari set up the chance, sending a corner from the left toward Juan Guzman in the left side of the penalty area. The midfielder dummied the ball, allowing it to run through to Suggs as he arrived late at the top of the penalty area for a first-time shot into the top-left corner of the net.
The Switchbacks carved out a big chance to equalize 11 minutes before halftime as Hadji Barry and Michee Ngalina combined to get through the United defense and set up a shot for Ngalina, only for New Mexico goalkeeper Alex Tambakis to make an excellent reflex save to turn the shot wide. Tambakis intervened again in the 42nd minute as Ngalina got to the left byline inside the area and fired a low cross that the goalkeeper cleared away at the near post before a finishing touch could be applied by a Switchbacks forward.
Suggs almost grabbed his second of the night 10 minutes into the second half as Isidro Martinez played Moreno into the right side of the penalty area for a low cross that found United’s captain cutting across the top of the six-yard area for a back-heeled finish that was parried by Melvin. The rebound came back to Suggs, but he was unable to control his finish, shooting over the crossbar.
The Switchbacks leveled just before the hour-mark, however, as its forward trio combined to strike. Barry began the play, turning in possession 30 yards from goal before delivering a pass that bisected the United back line to find Ngalina cutting in from the left, and the Congolese winger delivered a low cross for Deshane Beckford to tap in at the right post unmarked. Beckford then forced a big save from Tambakis as the hosts looked for the lead with a shot from the top-right edge of the penalty area that was parried by the United shot-stopper before defender Sam Hamilton saw the ball away to safety.
Barry put the Switchbacks ahead with 21 minutes to go, however, as he recorded a goal in his seventh consecutive game. Ngalina skipped past a pair of defenders moving centrally outside the penalty area before finding Sebastian Anderson in the right channel, and the U.S. youth international delivered a fine angled ball into the penalty area that Barry just got a touch on to turn into the left corner of the net from seven yards out.
Anderson then had a vital role to play in keeping the hosts ahead four minutes later as a cross from the left by Harry Swartz reached Martinez in the right side of the penalty area, setting up a low shot that beat Melvin but that Anderson denied with a brilliant clearance off the goal line.
New Mexico continued to push for an equalizer, and both Sergio Rivas and Devon Sandoval had chances that flew just over the crossbar, but Barry struck for his 10th goal of the season with eight minutes to go as he was sent forward on a counterattack by Andre Lewis before firing a low shot just past Tambakis from the right channel and into the left corner of the net, securing all three points for the hosts.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Hadji Barry, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Barry’s red-hot run of form continued as he played a role in the opening goal before bagging two more for himself to send the hosts to a third consecutive victory.
NM – Josh Suggs (Andrew Tinari) 19’
COS – Deshane Beckford (Michee Ngalina) 59’
COS – Hadji Barry (Sebastian Anderson) 69’
COS – Hadji Barry (Andre Lewis) 82’