In an unconvincing yet interesting match late Wednesday night, it was the Colorado Switchbacks who narrowly defeated the Oklahoma City Energy FC 2-0. In a contest that saw countless opportunities wasted by both sides, the final result was fair.
Going into the Wednesday night’s match, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks sat fourth in the West while the OKC Energy narrowly sat close behind in fifth. However, following tonight’s result, the Switchbacks earned themselves a bit more breathing room as well as a chance to compete for the Conferences top spot.
Leading into the match there were a few side stories that kept the interest of many fans and pundits. First, newly signed forward Andy Craven made his debut for the OKC Energy. Following his release from the Seattle Sounders in early August, Craven returned to the professional game, starting up top with FC Dallas loanee Colin Bonner. The second side story was the reunion of Mexican-American brothers Daniel and Miguel Gonzalez. Daniel, who plays for the Energy, and Miguel, who plays for the Switchbacks, squared off in an old fashioned brotherly-love match, providing an exciting spectacle for fans to admire.
To kick off the match, the OKC Energy lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, playing both FC Dallas loanees Timo Pitter and Colin Bonner in the attack. On the other side, the Colorado Switchbacks put out a competent 4-3-3 lineup, which provided constant energy and tenacity being the deciding factor in the end.
As the match progressed into the first half, both sides began feeling the other out, cautiously passing and making runs. However, following two early yellow cards from Kim Taeseong in the 19’ minute and Coady Andrews in the 22’ minute, the contest began to sprout life.
In the 22’ minute, Colin Bonner was given a surreal opportunity to finish one-on-one with the opposing keeper, nevertheless, the rookie striker was unable to capitalize, resulting in hitting the net wide left.
Following constant offensive threats, the Colorado Switchbacks were finally able to break the scoring deadlock in the 30’ minute after Miguel Gonzalez scored a skillful upper right corner finesse shot. Upon going down 1-0, the Energy began to look rattled, resulting in Colorado to apply the pressure even more.
Few chances were created for the rest of the half, however, FC Dallas loanee Colin Bonner had yet another open opportunity to capitalize for the Energy in the 44’ minute, but a heroic goal line save from Suggs resulted in the Switchbacks heading into the locker room up by one at the half.
Starting the second half, the Energy made three subs, taking off VanCompernolle, Hyland, and Bonner for Konig, Ryden, and Wojciech Wojcik. It was Wojcik who made the instant impact as he had a couple early chances, nevertheless, they were all saved or miss.
As the half prolonged, the Energy clawed for chances but were unable to find any luck. In the 66’ minute, newly signed striker Craven set up a beautiful chance for Timo Pitter at the top of the box. Instead of laying the ball off to a streaking teammate, Pitter elected to fire a short towards goal, however, it went wide and hit the side netting.
More disciplinary issues arrived in the 81’ minute as Daniel Gonzalez earned himself a cheap yellow card. Three minutes later, Gonzalez saw himself subbed off for Luis Martinez, the Energy’s fifth and final sub.
As the 90’ minute arrived, the referee’s clock read five minutes of extra time, giving the Energy a couple more chances before the end of the match. In the 93’, Colrado’s Marty Maybin received a ball off of a corner kick and went on to dribble to whole length of the field before shooting a shot barely wide to the side. However, in the course of the play, the Energy’s goalkeeper Laurdeni suffered a hit to the head, resulting in treatment from the club’s trainer.
Luckily enough Laurendi was able to continue, but that wouldn’t be enough for the side. In the 95’ minute, a mistake in the back led to a simple goal for the Switchbacks, capitalized y Kevin Durr. After the goal was recorded, the referee blew the whistle, giving Colorado the 2-0 win.
Oklahoma City FC’s Starting Lineup:
Colorado Switchbacks’ Starting Lineup: