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Ngalina's Late Equalizer Earns 1-1 Draw for Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

By Cody Costra, 07/24/21, 1:00AM MDT


Colorado Springs, CO (July 23, 2021) – Michee Ngalina scored a late equalizer to earn the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC a 1-1 draw vs Louisville City FC at Weidner Field on Friday night.

The first chance of the game fell to the foot of Louisville's Brian Ownby from a corner kick but Abraham Rodriguez came out to make a foot save from point blank range.

The Switchbacks had an opportunity to take the lead in the 35th minute when Deshane Beckford cut onto his right foot from the top of the left side of the penalty area but his shot was saved by Chris Hubbard. Ngalina nearly scored before halftime when he used his pace to fire a left footed shot from the right side of the penalty area that was just wide of the right post.

Louisville got on the board first in the 74th minute as Jonathan Gomez played a cross on the ground to Antoine Hoppenot who scored from three yards out.

The Switchbacks found a late equalizer when Matt Mahoney played a pass into Ngalina who turned and dribbled to the top of the penalty area. Ngalina unleashed a powerful shot to the bottom right corner of the goal that was too strong for for Hubbard to keep out. Ngalina's fourth goal of the season was enough to secure the 1-1 draw in the first ever meeting between the two clubs.

The Switchbacks are on the road for the next two games, taking on Loudoun United FC at 4pm MT on July 31 and Austin Bold FC at 6pm MT on August 4.

The Switchbacks are back at Weidner Field on August 7 to face Hartford Athletic with gates opening at 6pm for a 7pm kick off. The game is presented by Centura Health on Galactic Night, with the first 4,000 fans in the gates receiving a free saber. Tickets are available HERE.

Post-Game Quotes

Brendan Burke - Head Coach
Overall thoughts on the game
"I'm happy we were able to fight back and get a point, we definitely didn’t deserve to lose the game. I thought the overall performance was good, we went toe to toe with a team that’s in the final essentially every year, so that’s great news for us, that’s progress and that’s another small step forward. We could have kept a clean sheet, had a little defensive error late in the game in midfield though. We have to defend as a group of 11 so that part's a little bit disappointing to lose it on a simple one like that. But to fight back and create the chances we created against a group as experienced as Louisville are and as well run they are. I’m walking away happy.

On the fight in the team to create chances through the 90th minute:
"It’s a good locker room, we have nothing but good guys in that locker room through and through. Even the guys that weren’t in the A team tonight trained their hearts out before the game and that’s a great sign of where we're at culturally right now and at the club. I think we're really moving forward faster than anyone expected us to, even myself.

Jimmy Ockford:
Thoughts on play against Louisville:
"It was a tough one for sure, against one of the top teams in the league. They have one of the best organizations in the league as well, so we always know that they're going to come and fight, but I think we came into it well. I think the first half we definitely defended a lot of the game, but once we got into it we created a lot more chances for sure. So it's unfortunate that we didn’t get the clean sheet, we let in a goal but we got the point out of it and at least we got a result."

 On the energy from the fans:
"The atmosphere was incredible once again, with fans consistently showing out even with the delay. Going out [to the field] for the warm ups, we weren’t sure who would stick around but everybody was there which is a testament for the fans. It shows they have our backs no matter what."

Michee Ngalina:
On the team's mentality in fighting back after going down a goal:
"We were just so positive today. W talked about that a lot from the last game, and so all of us were positive today, and we just wanted to do good. It wasn’t easy when they scored first but we tried our best and we were able to come back and get a goal."

On getting that rescue goal in front of the fans:
"You know I just find the space on the field. I saw that the center back was a little bit late and so when I got that space I just made my run and I shot for the goal. [The fans reaction], that made me so happy. There were four or five goals that I felt I didn’t score, so it was about being strong mentally. I knew I had to finish one now today."

Game Statistics

  • Man of the Match// Michee Ngalina
  • Scoring Summary// COS: Ngalina (87') | LOU: Hoppenot (74')
  • Saves// COS: Rodriguez (3) | LOU: Hubbard (1)
  • Discipline// COS: YC: Hodge (33'), Makangila (65'), Mayaka (70'), Lewis (89') | LOU: YC: Ownby (31'), McMahon (55'), Hopppenot (70'), Greig (79')