Evan Newton made two saves in a penalty kick shootout to lift OKC Energy FC to a 4-3 penalty kick win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the Western Conference Semifinals of the USL Playoffs in front of 6,370 Sunday night at Taft Stadium. The teams ended regulation tied at one goal apiece and extra time knotted 2-2.
After Energy FC’s Danni König and Colorado Springs’ Luke Vercollone netted kicks for a 1-1 score, Newton made a diving save to his right on Colorado Springs’ Rony Argueta to give OKC a one-score advantage. Later, with Energy FC leading the shootout 4-3, Newton made another diving save, this time to his left, to deny the Switchbacks’ Miguel Gonzalez and seal the win for OKC.
Energy FC will host LA Galaxy II in a 6 p.m. start Sunday, October 11 at Taft Stadium in the Western Conference Finals, with the winner earning the chance to play in the USL Finals.
Colorado Springs got out to an early 1-0 lead in the 6th minute, when Vercollone took a backdoor pass from Chandler Hoffman on the right edge of the OKC six and banked a shot off the left post into the Energy FC net.
OKC countered in the closing moments of the first half, when Daniel Gonzalez lifted a pass to the left the side of the Colorado Springs box and Chuy Sanchez sent a header past Switchbacks keeper Devala Gorrick. Sanchez’s first-half stoppage time goal was the last regulation time score of the match.
In the 7th minute of extra time, Energy FC took a 2-1 lead, when a bounding Kyle Greig pass found a wide-open Peabo Doue in the Colorado Springs box, and Doue blasted a shot into the upper-right section of the Switchbacks net.
Switchbacks FC countered, though, when Aaron King sent a shot from the left side of the OKC box that caromed off the right post and past Newton in the 15th minute of extra time.
After a scoreless second half of extra time, Energy FC won on penalty kick scores by König, Gareth Evans, Kalen Ryden and Michael Thomas.