A second half defensive and goalkeeping error has cost San Antonio FC dearly, as they fell to a 1-0 loss to conclude their three game road trip.The Colorado Springs Switchbacks claimed the win with a goal on the hour mark, after Josh Ford couldn’t get to a deflected clearance, allowing a simple goal for the Switchbacks, enough for the win.
Playing at such altitude was always going to be a big advantage for Colorado Springs, and they started well, having most of the early possession. Knowing that they would struggle at the altitude, San Antonio really needed to work hard early but the pitch conditions were making it hard for both sides to keep possession.
The first chance came in the seventh minute, as Colorado Springs ran well on the counter, coming up the left hand side. Marty Maybin looked to hold up the play, waiting for support, but found space and got a shot away which was well saved by Josh Ford, sending it out for a corner.
The home fans thought Colorado Springs had the opener from the resulting corner when the ball eventually dropped for Rony Argueta to get a shot away. Ford again saved well, with the rebound falling for Maybin, but he was one of three Switchbacks offside, so the goal was disallowed.
San Antonio’s first real chance also came off a corner-kick as the ball came in from Carlos Alvarez, and was headed up. That put the ball in to a contest with Devala Gorrick and Jason Johnson, with Gorrick coming off second best, with concerns about a potential head injury forcing him to be substituted.
The substitute goalkeeper, Billy Thompson, was tested early when San Antonio FC played Carlos Alvarez in one-on-one with the keeper. Alvarez looked to shot across the face of goal but it was too close to Thompson who stretched out well and made a good save.
Ford continued his good performances in goal, making two good saves on either side of the half-hour mark. The first coming as he came out to claim a corner in the swirling wind, the second came to end a strong Switchbacks counter when Josh Suggs ran up the left and looked to shoot from a tight angle but Ford jumped up well and held the ball.
The San Antonio FC defense did well after a big chance in the 41st minute played Colorado Springs through on goal. Maybin played the ball in, which was cut back for Luke Vercionne, who cut in to make space, but saw the defense cover and make a strong block.
Again a long ball went looking for Carlos Alvarez, who did well to control with his head and get a volley away from close range. But that shot was denied by a stunning save from Thompson who parried it down and then held on to the ball, keeping the match scoreless at half-time.
San Antonio started the second half well, as they had two very early chances in the half, coming through Victor Araujo. But Araujo was unable to find the target, letting the Switchbacks off the hook, but showing dangerous signs from the away side.
Only Christian Ibegaha prevented a rapid San Antonio FC counter, as he slid in perfectly to deny Bobby Moseley. San Antonio regathered possession, but their attempted through-ball was too long, allowing Colorado Springs to clear.
A horrible defensive error from San Antonio FC gave Colorado Springs the lead on the hour mark as Josh Ford passed the ball out to Sam McBride. McBride’s attempted clearance was deflected, and Ford misjudged the bounce, as it got around him, allowing Maybin a simple tap-in to an empty net for the opener.
San Antonio was forced to respond, but against a Colorado Springs defense that has only conceded twice that was always going to be difficult. In the 68th minute a ball was sent in to the box for San Antonio but Thompson beat Moseley to it, claiming the possession.
Unfortunately, San Antonio’s response was largely toothless, as Colorado Springs quickly took charge of possession and the match. That starved San Antonio of any chances, perhaps tiring from the work at altitude, forcing Darren Powell to go to his bench.
In the 77th minute Araujo was given another chance, as a long ball was sent up the right for Alvarez, who controlled well. That allowed Alvarez to send in a strong, low cross, trying to find Araujo who was just behind the ball, seeing it run out for a goal-kick.
McBride atoned for his earlier error with ten minutes to play when Nate Robinson played Aaron King in to the box on the right. That allowed King to get a shot away, but McBride dived in and blocked the shot, sending it out for a throw.
With three minutes to play Saeed Robinson sent the ball back for Robinson, and again San Antonio showed desperate defense to block the ball for a corner. But San Antonio just could not get the ball forward enough and get the chances they needed to get a point, falling to their second 1-0 loss in as many matches.
*Top Image: April 23, 2016; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; San Antonio FC goalkeeper Josh Ford (1) defends in the first half against Switchbacks FC at Switchbacks Stadium. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/Switchbacks FC