LEESBURG, Va. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC scored twice in three minutes midway through the second half to set up a 3-1 victory against Loudoun United FC at Segra Field on Saturday night as Hadji Barry capped the performance with his 14th goal of the regular season.
The visitors almost grabbed the opening goal inside the first minute as Barry won a 50-50 near the goal line on the right and pulled a pass back for Andre Lewis, whose shot from the right side of the penalty area went just wide of the left post. Loudoun also had a pair of early off-target efforts as well, with Timmy Mehl sending a header wide of the right post off a free kick and then Darluis Paz shooting wide of the left post after Ted Ku-DiPietro’s cross was a fraction behind him as he tried to finish.
Lewis had another pair of chances for the Switchbacks in the 16th minute, with his first effort being blocked by United’s Jacob Greene after a good cross from the left by Michee Ngalina before the ball was kept alive in the penalty area, giving Lewis a second chance only for his effort to beat the advancing goalkeeper but also slide wide of the left upright.
Ku-DiPietro had another chance for the hosts seven minutes later as he got in behind the Switchbacks defense on a chipped ball over the top but saw his shot from a narrow angle in the left side of the penalty area denied by Colorado Springs’ goalkeeper Abe Rodriguez. Ku-DiPietro had another big opportunity just past the half-hour mark after Kimarni Smith didn’t connect cleanly with a volleyed effort, which sent the ball in the direction of his teammate for a shot that flew high over the crossbar.
The Switchbacks then had a pair of chances of their own to break the deadlock as Michee Ngalina was played into the left channel by Lewis and broke into the penalty area for a shot to the far post that produced a diving save by Loudoun’s Jermaine Fordah. The rebound came to Deshane Beckford, but he fired just over the crossbar as the defense scrambled to cover.
Colorado Springs took the lead in the 63rd minute, however, as a short corner on the right saw Jose Francisco Torres receive possession back with a chance to deliver an angled ball into the far post, and the former U.S. Men’s National Team player picked out Michael Edwards for a volleyed finish from close range.
Two minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead as 17-year-old Yaya Toure gained possession on the right and looked to slip a pass into Barry inside the penalty area. The Guinean forward controlled and tried to play a backheeled return pass, and while Lewis’ initial effort was closed down by a defender the ball fell kindly for Toure to shoot into the left corner of the net.
United pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go as Kairou Amoustapha delivered a cross from the right that found Smith, who controlled and fired a low shot back into the bottom-right corner to give the hosts some hope. Jackson Hopkins then went close to an equalizer for Loudoun with a curling shot to the top-right corner that Rodriguez tipped over the crossbar, while with three minutes to go Samson Sergi found the right side-netting on a low cross from Amoustapha.
Sergi had another chance in the final minute as Smith delivered a good free kick from the left that was headed on target but too close to Rodriguez, who tipped the ball over the crossbar. In second-half stoppage time, though, the Switchbacks put the game to bed as Barry struck late, cleaning up the rebound after Darren Yapi’s initial shot had been saved, to seal all three points for the visitors.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Michael Edwards, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Edwards put away the opening goal for Colorado Springs and defensively made four interceptions and eight recoveries while winning 2 of 2 tackles.
COS – Michael Edwards (Jose Francisco Torres) 63’
COS – Yaya Toure 65’
LDN – Kimarni Smith (Kairou Amousapha) 70’
COS – Hadji Barry 90+2’