Colorado Springs, CO (September 18, 2021) – A second half brace from Hadji Barry led the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to a 2-1 comeback victory over Rio Grande Valley FC on Saturday night.
RGV got on the board first in the 26th minute when they forced a turnover near the left touchline and found Emilio Ycaza at the top of the penalty area to chip his finish to the bottom left corner of the goal.
The best chance of finding an equalizer for the Switchbacks came late in the half when a long ball over the top was brought down by Thomas Amang and the forwards shot was saved by the onrushing goalkeeper, Tyler Deric.
Switchbacks Head Coach, Brendan Burke, made an attacking-minded change at half time by bringing on Deshane Beckford in place of Sebastian Anderson.
Thomas Amang's work rate created a chance early in the second half as he dribbled by multiple defenders before playing a low cross into the penalty area. Andre Lewis took a heavy touch off the cross and Hadji Barry made no mistake of his shot from close range for his 22nd goal of the season.
Just eight minutes from full time, José Torres slid a pass to Beckford on the right side of the penalty area as the Jamaican hit a low driven cross across the six-yard box and Barry arrived to smash in his second goal of the game and 23rd goal of the season.
Tonight's comeback victory earned three crucial points for the Switchbacks over a Mountain Division rival as they look to book their place in the playoffs.
On September 25th, the Switchbacks return to Weidner Field to take on Austin Bold FC for Mustache Night, with the first 1,000 fans receiving a stick-on mustache, courtesy of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. Tickets are available HERE.
Switchbacks FC Head Coach, Brendan Burke:
On how big of a comeback win that was tonight:
"A lot of energy goes into every game and playing five games in 15 days for the second time in two and a half months is not something I've ever lived through as a coach so I know for our players, that was a tremendous amount of energy that went into the last couple of weeks. We're really proud of the players. We were not good in the first half. We were okay, but we didn't look like ourselves so we made a change or two. Becky [Deshane Beckford] changed the game for us in the second half, he set up both goals. That's just the way we've operated this year. There's a lot of guys that get rotated through. There were guys at home tonight like Stevie [Steven Echevarria] and Rony [Argueta] who did a phenomenal job on Wednesday and they're not forgotten either because we're gaining points no matter who we put out which is a really special place to be as a staff."
On the mentality of this team to be able to come back in the second half:
"When you're physically tired, your mind can go quickly. We've shown enough resilience to not let it slip so I think that sums up the whole thing. We can go deep in our roster, we can put different combinations of players out. José [Torres] was so good tonight, it was that rotation in midfield on Wednesday when Rony [Argueta] and Stevie [Steven Echevarria] and Bev [Beverly Makangila] stepped up that we were able to rotate the entire three tonight and put a fresh three out. We did just enough to get out of here. But on the road, that's all that matters, just enough."