San Diego Loyal escape Colorado with 3-2 victory


Credit: SD Loyal

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Credit: SD Loyal

San Diego earns a crucial three points against second-place Switchbacks

It was certainly a happy 4th of July for the Loyal! In a wild matchup in the rocky mountains, the Loyal leave Colorado closer to second place after a massive and entertaining victory.

With just ten men, the Loyal scored the winner in the 81st minute to end with a 1-point win. This was an important match, and the Loyal got the job done.

San Diego improves to (10-4-4) with 34 points and a (+13) goal difference. Colorado falls to (12-5-0) on the year with 36 points and a (+14) goal difference. Just two points separate the two squads who are fighting to gain ground on first-place San Antonio FC (40).

The Switchbacks seemed to have the early control. In the 36th minute, 2021 Golden Boot winner Hadji Barry nailed the first of his two goals. Colorado took that 1-goal lead into the break as they were looking to separate even further from SD in the Western Conference standings.

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The fans in attendance were in for a show in the second half. However, many left disappointed in the result. San Diego scored the first of their three second-half goals in the 51st minute off of a direct header from Kyle Adams. Captain Charlie Adams placed a brilliant corner kick right to the forehead of the “slightly” taller Adams.

The two defenders showcased the elite offense, which proved to be a crucial part of the match. This is where the momentum switched. The Loyal gained control back as the usually do. The team dominates possession and, as a result, find themselves creating more chances than their opponents.

In the 63rd, Adams assisted on his second goal of the match as he placed a sweet and easy pass to Tumi Moshobane for the advantage.

The Loyal made it look easy against one of the top teams in the league.

After just five minutes went by, Grant Stoneman received a red card after a handball in the penalty box. That was a huge blow to Stoneman, who has been the anchor of the backline since the club was put together.

Colorado took advantage of the miscue, and Barry connected on the penalty kick to even the score at two.

The Loyal didn’t throw in the towel and instead controlled possession for the next ten minutes leading up to the final goal. In a late stunner, Thomas Amang broke free at midfield and set up Collin Martin, who attempted a shot that was initially blocked by the Switchbacks’ keeper Jeff Caldwell. Luckily for Evan Conway, the late substitute was in the right spot at the right time as he found the deflection and placed it in the back of the net.

San Diego didn’t quit and held on for the win, despite a nine-minute stoppage time. This team won their last three matches and are staying on pace as the halfway point of the season approaches.

Manager Landon Donovan was pleased with the way his squad played Monday night.

The next match for the Loyal is Saturday, July 9, against LA Galaxy II. This is another huge match especially after the result of the previous one. SD blew a late 2-0 lead and allowed LA to finish the match with a draw. Expect the Loyal to be at their best. The match is at 7 pm at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego.

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