Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Rio Grande Valley FC took a 1-0 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night at Weidner Field as a second-half goal by Ruben Luna lifted the visitors to victory. After an 80-minute lightning delay, the Switchbacks carried much of the play in the opening half-hour despite having less possession, and forward Kevaughn Frater tested RGVFC goalkeeper Borja Angoitia from 25 yards out. The Toros came into the game more as the half went on, but were unable to threaten the Switchbacks goal before the break. Rio Grande Valley FC then took the lead midway through the second half as Luna was brought down in the penalty area, and Luna himself stepped up to convert from the penalty spot as he shot low to the left corner to make it 1-0. The Switchbacks tried to hit back with 16 minutes to go as Angoitia saved well on a shot to the top-left corner from 30 yards by Eddy Prugh, but despite some late chances for the hosts the Toros earned the shutout to take a big victory on the road.
67’ – RGV – Ruben Luna (penalty)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Toros continued to hold the upper hand in the all-time series between the clubs as Ruben Luna’s penalty kick made it two wins out of two this season in favor of Rio Grande Valley FC. The visitors on Saturday night had to work harder than in their victory at H-E-B Park earlier this season, but Ruben Luna’s composed penalty kick, which saw his run-up freeze Switchbacks goalkeeper Moise Pouaty, made the difference as RGVFC took a big three points on the road.
2. The Switchbacks didn’t hold as much possession as their visitors, but will be disappointed not to have taken something from the game after holding a large advantage in shots and shots on goal. The Toros did a good job of limiting Colorado Springs’ clear looks inside the penalty area, however, as the Switchbacks’ eagerness to pull the trigger from distance saw the hosts take two-thirds of their 15 shots from outside the penalty area. With goalkeeper Borja Angoitia looking sharp all night, particularly on Eddy Prugh’s effort with just over 15 minutes to go, the Toros were able to emerge with all three points.
3. The Toros’ victory was not only a big one for them, but also one that could put some pressure on the Switchbacks in the upcoming few weeks as the playoff race tightens and teams sitting directly below Colorado Springs begin to play their games in hand on the Switchbacks. All five of the teams directly below sixth-place Colorado Springs have at least three games in hand on Head Coach Steve Trittschuhs’s side, which will make the next few weeks very interesting indeed.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Borja Angoitia, Rio Grande Valley FC – Angoitia had to make only three saves to post a shutout, but pulled out two top saves among them to allow the Toros to emerge with victory.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – July 8, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field
Rio Grande Valley FC at Swope Park Rangers – July 8, 8:30 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field