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Switchbacks Outlast OKC at Taft

By CHARLIE CORR -, 03/26/16, 10:00PM EDT


Maybin, Gonzalez each score for Colorado Springs in road win

OKLAHOMA CITY – The highly anticipated rematch of last season’s Western Conference Semifinal went to the team that was eliminated in that round as Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC defeated OKC Energy FC 2-1 at Taft Stadium on Saturday, the second day of the 2016 USL Kickoff Weekend.

OKC had final bragging rights last year with a thrilling 4-3 shootout victory against the Switchbacks to advance to the 2015 USL Western Conference Final. On Saturday, though, it was goals by Martin Maybin and Miguel Gonzalez that held up for Colorado Springs.

Gonzalez was the enforcer at the start of the match with two close chances. In the 13th minute, he had a nice individual effort from the left flank, cutting in for a shot to force Cody Laurendi into a save. Then in the 15th minute, Gonzalez’s shot from outside the box struck the crossbar and went over for an OKC goal kick.

In the 31st minute, the Switchbacks broke through when Laurendi gambled to help his defense as Maybin attacked from the left. When the OKC goalkeeper mistimed his help defense, Maybin found an open net and placed his right-footed shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, Gonzalez’s work rate and high-paced dribbling paid off. In the 53rd minute, Gonzalez cut inside to his right foot and from the top of the box carved a perfect shot into the right side of the frame past a diving Laurendi to push the lead to 2-0.

In the 63rd minute, OKC got one back off of a corner kick chance. The ball was whipped in and it was actually the Switchbacks’ Josh Phillips who rose up and made contact with the ball for what appeared to be an own goal. Phillips was going up against a pair of Energy FC players, including Danni Konig in front of him, but Phillips was unable to achieve the redirect that he wanted.

The match featured more than eight minutes of second-half stoppage time, and the Switchbacks’ defense was able to withstand some scary moments down the stretch.

Energy FC (0-1-0, 0 points) remains at home to take on second-year side and Western Conference newcomer Saint Louis FC on Saturday at Taft Stadium (8 p.m. ET kickoff). Colorado Springs (1-0-0, 3 points) prepares for its home opener on Saturday, April 9, against Arizona United SC. Kickoff at Switchbacks Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.