Photo courtesy of Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC tallied twice in the opening half and earned a 3-0 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Friday in Western Conference play at Weidner Field. Masta Kacher produced a pair of goals – one in each half – and Shane Malcolm added a first-half tally. Kacher now has four goals on the season while Malcolm has two. In goal, Moise Pouaty had two saves for the clean sheet and had a strong supporting cast as Josh Phillips and the back line limited Tulsa’s attack. With the win, the Switchbacks improve to 3-2-3 (12 points) overall and 2-1-1 at home. Tulsa falls to 2-3-0 (6 points) overall and 1-1-0 on the road.
2’ – COS – Masta Kacher (Aaron King)
27’ – COS – Shane Malcolm (Josh Suggs)
69’ – COS – Masta Kacher
Three Things That Mattered:
1. The Switchbacks’ opening half had a similar feel to their 2-1 victory against Real Monarchs SLC on April 15. They tallied twice in the opening 20 minutes of that one, and on Friday they produced a pair of early goals once again. Aaron King had an active first half and led the charge down the right side to set up Masta Kacher in just the second minute. After King received a deep ball from the Switchbacks’ back line, he eluded his defender, then crossed to Kacher who was wide open on the left side took a touch to his right foot and from 17 yards out fired inside the near left post for the 1-0 lead. Kacher was involved in the second goal as well, dishing to Josh Suggs on the left side. Suggs then spotted Shane Malcolm with a lofting cross and Malcolm put every ounce behind his header from 10 yards out, drilling inside the right post for a 2-0 cushion in the 27th minute.
2. Tulsa’s defense had posted two clean sheets earlier this season, both against Rio Grande Valley FC. On Saturday, the defense had a number of shaky moments. Colorado Springs’ attack certainly deserved some credit, but there were spells when the Roughnecks were lax in their marking and decision making. In the 48th minute, Eddy Prugh picked the pocket of Tulsa’s Collin Fernandez, a loanee from the Chicago Fire. Prugh had a great opening to put the ball on frame, but he pushed it just wide left as Tulsa dodged that sequence. However, Roughnecks goalkeeper Fabian Cerda also had a questionable moment when he took a chance in leaving his line to try and make a foot clearance on a Switchbacks cross by Ricardo Perez from the right. He didn’t hit it cleanly, and Kacher cleaned up that opportunity in the 69th minute with his second tally for a three-goal cushion.
3. The Switchbacks’ defense withstood several spells from Tulsa’s attack. Center back Josh Phillips came up with several key deflections in clearances within a six-minute stretch from the 15th to 21st minutes. The biggest defensive play came from 21-year-old Cameroonian goalkeeper Moise Pouaty in the 38th minute. Cristian Mata had a close-range header toward the near right post and Pouaty dove and parried away with his left glove.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Masta Kacher, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Kacher recorded his first multi-goal game of the season and could have had a third if not for Fabian Cerda’s 56th-minute save to parry a shot over the crossbar.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Portland Timbers 2 – May 10, 2 p.m. ET, Providence Park
Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – May 11, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field