Colorado Springs, CO (June 12, 2021) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw on the road to El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night.
Locomotive FC got on the board from a corner kick in the 12th minute when the cross found the foot of Macauley King who volleyed the opener from six yards out. The Switchbacks dominated possession for the rest of the first half to slow the game down in the Texas heat. The first chance came from Michee Ngalina playing a ground cross to find Deshane Beckford from close range. However, Beckford couldn't get enough contact on the ball to direct it on target.
Late in the first half, El Paso had a few chances in quick succession but Jimmy Ockford blocked the initial shot before Jordan Burt cleared the second effort off the goal line before Sean Melvin could gather the ball. Almost immediately after, a short corner worked by the Switchbacks to find the head of Jimmy Ockford before Logan Ketterer made the save.
Aaron Gomez had an opportunity 12 minutes into the second half as he dribbled into the penalty area when Sean Melvin came out and made himself big to make the 1v1 save. With less than 20 minutes remaining, Ngalina had a driving run into the penalty area before he was knocked down by a defender. Hadji Barry stepped up and blasted the penalty kick into the top-right corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Each team had an opportunity to win the game in the final seven minutes. El Paso's Aidan Apodaca hit a shot from the left side of the goal that Melvin was able to get fingertips to the ball to turn the shot onto the crossbar and out for a corner kick. Barry was looking for his second goal of the game in stoppage time as he turned his defender on the right side of the penalty area before Ketterer parried his shot wide of the near post.
In triple digit heat, the Switchbacks earned a point on the road to the last unbeaten team in the Western Conference while also ending their four game shutout streak in the process.
The Switchbacks are back at Weidner Field on Wednesday, June 16, against Tacoma Defiance with gates opening at 6pm MT. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free Switchbacks mask, courtesy of Capelli Sport. Tickets are available HERE.