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Ten-Man Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Equalize in Stoppage Time for Draw

By Cody Costra, 09/11/21, 11:45PM MDT


Colorado Springs, CO (September 11, 2021) – Matt Mahoney's stoppage time equalizer led ten-man Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to battle back and earn a 1-1 draw against Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night at Weidner Field.

In a tight first half, the Switchbacks created the best opportunities as a turnover opened up space for Deshane Beckford on top of the penalty area but his shot went high over the crossbar. José Torres was looking for a goal in consecutive games when he hit a shot from distance towards the top right corner but Tyler Deric pushed it over the crossbar for a corner.

Jimmy Ockford was shown a straight red card in the 45th minute after jostling for position with Elvis Amoh 50 yards away from goal when Amoh took a big touch and fell down. The Switchbacks created a final opportunity before the end of the first half when Beckford brought down a cross in the penalty area and hit a half volley that Deric did well to save off the goal line.

Even down a man, the Switchbacks came out on the front foot in the second half as Beckford played in a low cross that a defender cleared into his crossbar for a near own goal.

Ten minutes from full time, RGV transitioned quickly as Emilio Ycaza found Frank Lopez and Lopez finished the ball underneath an onrushing Sean Melvin.

Entering stoppage time, the Switchbacks were pushing for an equalizer as Sebastian Anderson played a first time cross on the ground to the top of the six yard box. Matt Mahoney was the second runner as he smashed his shot into the roof of the net to equalize late.

The Switchbacks are back at Weidner Field on Wednesday, September 15 to face El Paso Locomotive FC with gates opening at 6pm for a 7pm kick off and fireworks after the game. Tickets are available HERE.

Post-Game Quotes

Brendan Burke - Head Coach

Overall thoughts on the game
"Obviously I’m disappointed in the environment that was created by the referees, that’s first and foremost. It was a multiple goal win for us that turned into a little bit of a circus if I'm honest, and you know that’s disappointing, but it does happen we get it, it's just happened here at home way too many times this year. It's been very substandard so I'm hopeful they can find ways to correct it, it just creates an unnecessary tension, an unnecessary uncertainty is the best word, every time we come out because I'm really proud of my team. We were right on top of the game right up until. You know there were a few bad decisions before that that kind of snowballed to that moment where all heck broke loose, and it's hard to recover from that. I went into the locker room that night and I said, to actually recover from that, and to come away with a point from that game, against another contender, I just could not be more proud of our organization from top to bottom."

On playing a defensive team while battling other obstacles?
"Well we've been missing four to eight of our core players over the last two games, so the guys that were on the field and were in the locker room deserve tremendous credit. I was talking earlier about Hadji [Barry] being humble when everyone else wants to talk about his goals, but to do the hard yards, the digging that he did tonight, it's never going to be lost on me, the staff or his teammates, he's just that kind of guy. But his teammates deserve a ton of credit tonight, Becky [Deshane Beckford] to still be fighting and trying to find a way to carve open the defense in the 90 plus minute is a credit to him. He's grown up a lot this year and he's showed it in moments like that. We had one mental lapse in the first half where we played a poor long flat pass, a negative header. There were three bad decisions on one play, but it probably should have resulted in a yellow card. When the ball is 25 meters from the player that can score the goal, by definition that’s not a goal scoring chance."

On tactical changes made in the second after the red card:
"It was a difficult decision because we were running the game in a big big way in the first half, but the reality is you have to play the hand you're dealt and we came in to the locker room and dropped two players who are technical and attack minded and put Bev [Beverly Makangila] in the game and kind of flipped things around and shored us up. We went back so we could play four in the back so we could play two true holding midfielders, but who can also pass and move the ball, and left Hadji and Becky [Beckford] out there to try to hurt them.

On Matt Mahoney's performance so far:
"He's been excellent. We brought Matt here with the idea that he can play any position on any given night, and we know he's going to be be at least a 7 out of 10. And to have guys like that in your locker room and in your sphere of influence is so important, because when things get light or the team needs a jolt or you just need to be solid, to have foundational guys like that, that I hope are with me for the rest of their careers, and in Matt's case I hope he is, that’s invaluable, and he showed it tonight. He keeps plugging away, keeps fighting, he keeps making good decisions. Yes he was involved in that moment in the first half but he also has enough resilience and fortitude to come through that and dig us out an absolutely massive point in the playoff chase." 


Sebastian Anderson

On battling the odds to get the draw:
"It's huge, I mean, obviously back to back games: Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, it's tough, but to be able to dig in especially a man down, it says a lot about the team, the resilience we have to be able to come out with a point."


On setting up the assist for Matt Mahoney's goal:
"Becky [Beckford] did well, he dropped it into the pocket and picked up the ball, kind of gave me the cue to go wide and as soon as I saw his little touch turn I got in behind and picked my head up, first time ball, saw Yapi running near post dragging a defender and obviously Matt [Mahoney] was at the second post in the perfect spot to finish it."


Matt Mahoney

On what he saw in the assist from Sebastian Anderson:
"I mean I just figured no harm no foul. I knew it was like the 89th minute, we were getting close to the 90th minute and we were down one so I just figured the ball's going to swing around to Seb [Anderson] and he's good at serving it in so I figured I would get myself in the box and try to get on the end of it and Becky [ Beckford] put a great ball through, so it was easier to just tap it free when I got in the six yard box. it couldn’t have been any easier, but I just saw it swinging around and just thought why not, tried to go right up there and luckily the ball landed right at my feet."

On scoring the equalizer in front of his parents: 
"It's huge. I mean, they don’t make it to a lot of games being from across the country, so it was amazing to get the goal in front of them, because being a defender I don’t score many goals, and then just being here in front of them it was just amazing. I'm kind of at a loss for words because it doesn’t happen to often so my celebration was, I didn’t really know what to do, but you know we're happy, we got one point out of it when it could have been zero and now we have a quick turnaround again for Wednesday."

On the energy from the fans for tonight's game: 
"To hear the crowd was unbelievable. I hear the fans yelling my name all the time, but now actually being able to do something for them and score, it was amazing and then on 9/11 as well, like I said before I'm kind of speechless. it’s a great moment for myself even though it was only one point, because it doesn’t happen too often, but I know the fans are behind us all the time, and we have another big opportunity on Wednesday again, against first place in our conference right now, so we have to rest up to be ready."

Game Statistics

  • Man of the Match// Matt Mahoney
  • Scoring Summary// COS: Mahoney (90+1') | RGV: Lopez (80')
  • Saves// COS: Melvin (1) | RGV: Deric (2)
  • Discipline// COS: RC: Ockford (45'), YC: Hodge (54'), Beckford (83') | RGV: YC: Pimentel (56')