Switchbacks drop physical contest to San Antonio, head home to face Oakland Roots – Colorado Springs Gazette

The Switchbacks’ night could be summed up in the crucial penalty kick in the 76th minute. 

San Antonio FC midfielder Victor Giro, known commonly as “PC,” took a low shot to the middle of the net. Colorado Springs keeper Christian Herrera made the diving save but couldn’t secure the ball, and PC pounced on the rebound and tapped the ball into the back of the net. 

The Switchbacks held level in a physical bout with the top team in the USL Championship for most of the match but fell just short of their goal, falling 1-0 in Texas Tuesday. It’s the team’s third straight loss. 

Colorado Springs went toe-to-toe with a San Antonio squad that may have been incensed by pre-game comments made by Switchbacks head coach Brendan Burke. In an interview with Switchbacks columnist Roland Vargish, Burke said San Antonio FC was “not a very good soccer team, but they’re extremely efficient.”

Burke’s comments made the USL Championship broadcast and it seemed they may have had an effect on the pitch as well. San Antonio, who has already clinched a playoff spot as the top-seeded team in the Western Conference, came out with a lot of energy sprinting to sidelines to keep balls in play and hustling to create scoring opportunities.

In the first half, San Antonio beat Colorado Springs in shots 6 to 1, corners 5 to 0 and crosses 20 to 3. Most of the scoring opportunities came from the home team.

Still, the Switchbacks weathered the storm from San Antonio and went into the half 0-0. Furthermore, Colorado Springs tightened those margins in the second half 13 to 11, 8 to 4 and 28 to 16. 

But it wasn’t enough to overcome San Antonio. 

In the game’s pivotal moment, Switchbacks forward Elvis Amoh conceded a penalty on a hand ball, setting up PC for the game winner. 

Colorado Springs had a great chance at an equalizer in the 85th minute when forward Michee Ngalina found midfielder Cam Lindley open in the San Antonio penalty area for a one-on-one chance against SAFC keeper Jordan Farr. Lindley attempted to shoot the ball high and over Farr into the far side corner of the net but Farr caught the ball midair. 

It was a physical performance by both teams in a match with 37 combined foul and seven total yellow cards issued. 

The loss drops Colorado Springs to 16-12-3 on the season.

The Switchbacks have another quick turnaround Saturday as they host Oakland Roots SC at Weidner Field. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

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