HERRIMAN, Utah – For a second consecutive outing, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC scored deep in second-half stoppage time as Andre Lewis’ goal earned a 1-1 draw against Real Monarchs SLC on Friday night at Zions Bank Stadium in a game that saw the hosts play more than 75 minutes down a man but still almost come out with victory as goalkeeper Jeffrey Dewsnup recorded a nine-save performance including a penalty kick save on current Golden Boot leader Hadji Barry.
The Switchbacks created the first good look of the game in the ninth minute when a short corner kick from the right into the near post created a shot for Hadji Barry that was blocked at close range but caromed to Thomas Amang, who went for a spectacular bicycle kick that went straight to Dewsnup. A couple of minutes later it was the turn of the hosts as Max Mata fired a shot from just inside the top-left edge of the penalty area that was turned away by Colorado Springs’ Sean Melvin.
In the 13th minute, however, the Monarchs were reduced to 10 men when Julio Benitez was shown a red card for a shin-high challenge on the Switchbacks’ Jose Francisco Torres near midfield. The hosts still found ways to threaten in attack and on the half-hour mark Milan Iloski tried to catch out Melvin with a long-range free kick after the Colorado Springs goalkeeper moved off his line in anticipation of a cross, only for Iloski to fire a curling effort just over the top-right corner of the crossbar.
Colorado Springs began to take more control with the man-advantage as the half progressed and nine minutes before halftime Hadji Barry was denied a good chance as Monarchs defender Kyle Adams made a sliding block on a shot just inside the six-yard area. Deshane Beckford then powered a shot from the right side of the penalty area in first-half stoppage time that forced a diving save by Dewsnup to parry the ball wide of the far post, but the sides reached the halftime break all square.
Barry was then handed the chance to not only put the visitors ahead but break the single-season scoring record from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time as Sebastian Anderson was brought down in the left side of the penalty area. The Guinean forward stepped up to the spot but for the first time this season was denied as Dewsnup stopped his shot to the left corner before his defense cleared the rebound to safety.
Real immediately took the lead within two minutes of the resumption as after being awarded a free kick on the right edge of the penalty near the goal line, a low ball by Iloski deflected through the six-yard area to the back post where Adams was on hand to tuck home a finish at close range. The visitors tried to hit back quickly as off a set piece on the right a half-clearing header came to Triston Hodge just inside the top of the penalty area, allowing him to control and shoot to the left corner but be denied by another good save from Dewsnup.
The Monarchs continued to find ways to threaten despite being down a man and on the hour-mark almost added to their lead as after a free kick had been cleared by the visitors the ball came to Malik Johnson. The Canadian winger delivered the ball back into the penalty area for Mata, who controlled on his chest and fired a turning that that produced an excellent save from Melvin as he came off his line to make the stop.
Dewsnup continued to shine for the hosts as well, and with 20 minutes to go he made another key save after coming off his line to confront Beckford, who had been played in beautifully behind the Monarchs’ back line by Lewis but couldn’t squeeze his finish into the left side of the net.
The Switchbacks continued to apply pressure as the game wound down, but whenever a half-chance appeared to appear the Monarchs’ defense would find a way to get a body in the way. A chance in the 90th minute fell to Yaya Toure who was denied by Dewsnup, but in the minute of stoppage time the visitorsprovided the moment and the goal the Switchbacks had pursued as a defensive miscommunication allowed Andre Lewis to steal onto a ball over the top by Matt Mahoney and head into the right side of the net to grab a late, vital point.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jeff Dewsnup, Real Monarchs SLC – Dewsnup recorded a nine-save performance including a penalty kick denial of Hadji Barry as one of seven saves inside the penalty area that took the hosts to the brink of victory before the Switchbacks’ late equalizer.
SLC – Kyle Adams 47’
COS – Andre Lewis (Matt Mahoney) 90+5’