Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC defender Jordan Burt tallied a pair of second-half equalizers as the host side earned a 3-3 draw against expansion Reno 1868 FC on Saturday at Weidner Field. Reno saw its three-game winning streak come to a close in what was a frantic match from start to finish. First-half sub Aaron King had the Switchbacks’ other second-half tally. For Reno, Antoine Hoppenot notched a brace, tallying the opening goal and an 85th-minute score that had given 1868 FC a late lead. USL all-time goal scoring leader Dane Kelly tallied his 10th of the season and 58th of his career. The Switchbacks move to 3-4-5 (14 points) overall and 2-1-2 at home. Reno is now 3-3-3 (12 points) overall and 0-3-1 on the road.
37’ – RNO – Antoine Hoppenot (Brent Richards)
42’ – RNO – Dane Kelly
50’ – COS – Aaron King (Sean McFarlane)
57’ – COS – Jordan Burt (Kevaughn Frater)
85’ – RNO – Antoine Hoppenot (Mackenzie Pridham)
88’ – COS – Jordan Burt (Eddy Prugh)
#COSvRNO: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. It was a tale of two halves in a heated matchup at Weidner Field. The host Switchbacks seized the momentum in the second half as they were able to frustrate a Reno side that hadn’t conceded a goal in its previous three matches. Colorado Springs rallied from a two-goal deficit thanks to a nice spark from Aaron King. King actually did not start, subbing for an injured Shane Malcolm in the 29th minute. King orchestrated a cheeky stepover to elude his defender and shot at the near right post for his third of the season to cut it to 2-1 in the 50th minute. Brent Richards had the setup with a deep ball as King got behind the 1868 FC defense. Then the hard-nosed Jordan Burt equalized in the 57th minute on a sequence of headers, capped off with his near-left-post finish to tie things up at 2-2. While the Switchbacks did fall behind again, the response of Burt to notch his second goal in the 88th minute was fitting of a gritty finish and performance.
2. Reno headed into the match with some well-earned notoriety on both ends of the pitch, outscoring its opponents 14-0 heading into Saturday’s game. 1868 FC appeared to be adding to that trend. Antoine Hoppenot’s sliding finish in the 37th minute got things started, and Dane Kelly added to that five minutes later with a strong individual effort to cut past the Switchbacks’ defense and finish inside the left post for a 2-0 halftime lead. Hoppenot’s second goal was certainly some good fortune as Switchbacks goalkeeper Moise Pouaty coughed up a cross he should have handled, giving Reno a free run to take a 3-2 lead in the 85th minute.
3. Before the match even started, the Switchbacks had to deal with the absence of Josh Suggs, who was a late scratch after pre-game warmups. Conner Bevans was brought in to team up with Josh Phillips, Sean McFarlane and Burt. Both defenses were tested with regularity, with Reno coming up with 21 tackles compared to the Switchbacks’ 14. 1868 FC also had the possession advantage with 57.5 percent of the ball as Colorado Springs had enough in the tank to grab a point down the stretch.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Jordan Burt, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Burt’s pair of second-half equalizers helped the host side fight for a point and end Reno’s three-game winning streak in a frantic match.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. OKC Energy FC – June 3, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field
Reno 1868 FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – June 7, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field