COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (May 5, 2022) – Rio Grande Valley FC (3-6-0) fell short against Colorado Springs Switchbacks (8-1-0) at Weidner Field on Thursday evening. The Toros sparked a comeback surge late in the match but the early damage proved to be too much as the Switchbacks earned their eighth win of the year.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Elvis Amoh found a slow bouncing loose ball inside the penalty area. He controlled and took a right footed shot to the bottom left corner of the net, past a diving Tyler Deric at the 44th minute, 1-0.
RGV FC limited the Switchbacks to four shots, one on target in the opening half white managing to find three shots of their own to pose danger to the Colorado side.
Colorado Springs made it 2-0 at the 51st minute as Zachary Zandi took a direct shot at goal from the far-left end of the wing. The ball curled into the 6-yard box and bounced through traffic, ending in the back of the net. The goal stunned RGV after a well-controlled first half defensively.
Frank Lopez entered the match in the 56th minute, reaching his milestone 100th USL appearance.
At the 64th minute, the score sheet hit 3-0 in favor of the home club after an own goal following a bad bounce off the body of Luka Malesevic who was tightly defending inside the center of the box. The play developed from a deep cross from the right side of the field.
Colorado Springs conceded a penalty at the 73rd minute after Kharlton Belmar committed a clear hand ball inside the penalty area. On the ensuing try, Emilio Ycaza missed as Jefferson Caldwell made the diving save to the bottom right corner of the arc. The shot was Ycaza’s first career try from the penalty spot.
Frank Nodarse scored the first goal of the match for RGV FC on a corner kick play. Nodarse snapped a well-placed header into the back of the net to bring life to the Toros attack in the 75th minute, 3-1.
Wahab Ackwei sniped a headed ball into the back of the net for RGV on another corner kick play as he was left unmarked in the 79th minute, 3-2. The goal marked the first professional goal for the Ghanaian defender, and his first with RGV.
The Switchbacks were left with 10 men at the 80th minute as Triston Hodge was sent off on an open play foul on Frank Lopez, who was making a break-away one on one. Despite the late mismatch, Colorado hung on to their lead and closed out the home match with a victory.
Both goals tonight came off set pieces for RGV FC, a positive for the Toros after emphasizing the need to capitalize on set piece tries. Rio Grande has now scored eight goals in the last six USL Championship matches.
RGV FC focus on Monterey Bay FC next, on the road. The first ever meeting between the sides will be on May 14th following a short rest for the Toros. For more match day information, visit www.rgvfc.com.
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