September 10, 2017 - United Soccer League (USL) - Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Colorado Springs, CO (September 9, 2017) - The Switchbacks fell 1-2 to Phoenix Rising FC at home in front of a 3,582 at Weidner Field.
The Switchbacks hosted Phoenix Rising FC in a crucial Western Conference match as both sides looked to make a push for the playoffs. The Switchbacks looked strong in the early going, controlling possession in the attacking third. The Switchbacks uncharacteristically led the possession battle over Phoenix 55%-45% in the first half despite Phoenix controlling the end of the first half and outshooting the Switchbacks 6-3.
Phoenix finally broke the deadlock in the 50th minute as Amando Dia was able to beat Moise Pouaty to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Switchbacks struggled to get any rhythm going in the second half. Both teams saw a handful of fouls and cards go against them. The Switchbacks finally picked up momentum late when Josh Suggs broke down the left wing and found new signee Aj Ajeakwa who gave the Switchbacks their equalizer. Phoenix would quickly regain the lead just three minutes later as AJ Gray fooled Moise Pouaty and slotted it into the bottom right. There would be six minutes of stoppage time but the Switchbacks weren't able to find another equalizer and fell 1-2 at home.
"It was a hard fought match," said man of the match Ajeakwa. "We had our opportunities that we needed to finish. We've got to have a strong week of training and get ready for Seattle."
"We weren't good enough tonight," said Head Coach Steve Trittschuh. "We didn't come out and play the way we wanted to and practiced in training, and it cost us the game. It comes down to individual mistakes, we gave up a near-post goal that we've given up so many times this year and the second goal was too soft after doing well to get back in the game. We just didn't come with energy or have the desire tonight and we're really unhappy with the result"
The Switchbacks will now look to gain points on the road as they travel to Seattle next Saturday. The Switchbacks will return home Saturday, September 23rd against Swope Park Rangers to begin a three game homestand. Tickets start at just $12 and are available here.