(ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico) To call New Mexico United’s regular season a roller coaster would be a gross understatement, but it certainly ended on a high note. With a bit of help from their friends to the north, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, New Mexico was able to clinch the final playoff spot in their inaugural season with a 2:0 victory over Las Vegas Lights FC.
Using the stats as a guide, it was apparent that New Mexico United dominated the match and came into Isotopes Park poised to win. 58% possession, double the total shots, and not allowing Las Vegas one shot on goal constitute a recipe for a win. The 37th minute goal from Chris Wehan and the 87th minute insurance goal from Devon Sandoval were the products of a truly smothering performance from New Mexico.
A win wasn’t enough though. To punch their playoff ticket, United needed help from either Colorado Springs or El Paso. The latter fell to LA Galaxy II 2:0, but the Switchbacks fought through an early 2 goal deficit and a man disadvantage to draw with San Antonio 2:2, and clear the way for United.
The second season starts Wednesday, and United will travel west to face Sacramento Republic FC in the play-in round. Kickoff time is still TBA.
NM: Wehan (37), Sandoval (87)
NM: Tetteh, 75’ (Yellow); Hamilton, 77’ (Yellow)
LV: Torre, 58’ (Yellow), Torres, 81’ (Yellow)
NM: Possession: 58.3% Shots: 15 Shots on Goal: 8 Saves: 0 Fouls: 10 Corner Kicks: 5 Offside: 3
LV: Possession: 41.7% Shots: 7 Shots on Goal: 0 Saves: 3 Fouls: 13 Corner Kicks: 3 Offside: 1