Jamaicans Brett, Williams on target in USL
TAMPA, Florida (CMC):
Jamaican striker Neco Brett was one of two second-half scorers for Birmingham Legion FC in a crucial 2-1 win against archrivals Memphis 901 FC, and compatriot Romario Williams continued his rich vein of form, and Colorado Springs Switchbacks battled to a 1-1 draw with Rio Grande Valley FC in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship on Saturday in the United States of America.
Brett enabled the Legionnaires to come back from a one-goal deficit and score twice in five minutes to beat Memphis away from home at AutoZone Park, and they are now one win away from clinching a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Williams scored a second-half penalty to give Switchbacks the lead against Rio Grande Valley FC at Weidner Field, but they were playing their third match in a week and blew the lead in stoppage time to tighten the race for a place in the Western Conference playoffs.
In Memphis, Tennessee, battling to ensure they get a spot in the playoffs, Diba Nwegbo turned provider five minutes after scoring the first goal for Birmingham when he made a beautiful cross to Brett over the top to get in behind Memphis' backline.
The Jamaican calmly chose to chip the ball over Memphis goalkeeper Andrew Romig for his 12th goal of the season in the 51st minute after coming into a one-on-one situation.
Nwegbo had given the Legionnaires the lead after 45 seconds of the second half when he got on the end of a ball that deflected out to the left side of the box, and the 21-year-old instinctively shot to the far post with power for his third goal of the season after coming on as a substitute in the 39th minute.
Memphis had things practically their way in the first half, and they were rewarded when Legion defender Jake Rufe was called for a handled ball, and Rodrigo da Costa stepped up to convert from the spot to give them a 1-0 lead at half-time.
This is the sixth time the Black & Gold have won from a losing position this season.
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, the score remained 0-0 at half-time before Deshane Beckford earned a penalty kick for the Switchbacks after a tactical foul in the box by Rio Grand Valley defender Jonathan Ricketts.
Williams calmly took the position and swiftly struck the ball into the net, giving the Switchbacks the lead in the 69th minute with his 14th goal of the campaign.
Going into the rest of the second half, Rio Grande Valley were down to 10 men when substitute Frank Lopez received a straight red card for foul language in the 83rd minute.
With eight minutes added for stoppage time, Rio Grande Valley scored within the final few minutes of the match when Taylor Davila shot the ball from outside the box.