COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Thomas Amang scored in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time as Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC grabbed a 1-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night at Weidner Field to close in on a berth in the 2021 USL Championship Playoffs.
Both defenses opened the game on top as the Toros caught the hosts offside on a pair of promising moved in the opening 25 minutes. It wasn’t until the 27th minute, in fact, that the first shot on goal arrived when RGVFC’s Emilio Ycaza sent a first-time shot from 14 yards toward the left side of the net for the visitors that was saved by Colorado Springs goalkeeper Sean Melvin.
Beckford found the net for the hosts four minutes later as he slotted home from the right side of the penalty area, but again the flag was raised to keep the game level until the break. The Toros almost broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half as Kyle Edwards ran onto a ball in behind the defense and navigated away from a pursuing defender before chipping a finish over Melvin as he came off his line. The chance was cleared to safety by Colorado Springs’ Sebastian Anderson, however, who made an outstanding mid-air clearance to send the ball to safety.
Colorado Springs began to find a better rhythm in the attacking third as the second half went on, and with 17 minutes to go Barry almost grabbed the opening goal as Zach Zandi found him in the right half of the penalty area for a low shot to the far corner that Toros goalkeeper Tyler Deric just turned wide of the left post.
As it appeared time might have run out on the hosts, however, Amang produced a winner. Colorado Springs won possession in the Toros half through Beverly Makangila and Zandi and quickly shifted play forward to Barry, who was pulled wide to the right but still found a perfect passing lane to Amang at the top of the penalty area. The Cameroonian controlled and fired low past Deric into the left side of the net, lifting the Switchbacks to a much-needed victory and sinking the Toros’ hopes of a point.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jose Francisco Torres, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Torres was commanding in the center of the park as he won 9 of 12 duels and 6 of 7 tackles while also completing 58 of 72 passes overall in the contest.
COS – Thomas Amang (Hadji Barry) 90+4’