(July 9, 2021) Albuquerque, NM - A 61-minute weather delay couldn’t dampen the evening for New Mexico United, as goals from Sergio Rivas, Mike Azira and Ilija Ilic propelled the Black & Yellow to a 3-1 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Rivas got the scoring going early, poking home a 16th-minute rebound after a Josh Suggs free-kick came off of Switchbacks goalkeeper Sean Melvin.
Switchbacks would even the score in the 33rd minute on the right foot of league-leading goal scorer Hadji Barry. Barry’s 12th goal of the season came off of a giveaway in the United box on a play that also saw Sam Hamilton go down with an apparent leg injury. Hamilton was helped off the pitch by trainers and left the stadium in an ambulance.
Colorado Springs were reduced to ten men early in the second half, as Sebastian Anderson saw red for contact with United’s Daniel Bruce. Brendan Burke’s men held United scoreless for another 38 minutes after that red card, even countering dangerously a few times, before being thwarted by United goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
New Mexico finally broke through on Azira’s first United goal in stoppage time. Chelo Martinez sent a ball across, and Azira slotted it home for a lead that Troy Lesesne’s club would not relinquish. Just two minutes later, it was Ilic’s turn to record his first United tally, as he deftly maneuvered around Sean Melvin after a sublime pass from Martinez.
The match attendance was 9,728 - United’s highest of the season.
About New Mexico United
New Mexico United, the state’s first professional soccer franchise, brings the most popular sport in the world home to the Land of Enchantment. Fueled by a passion for community, New Mexico United’s promise is to provide a platform that brings New Mexicans together for a unique sporting experience, celebrating the unity and excitement inherent in world-class soccer.
The USL is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million and fueling the growth of the game across North America. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the USL provides unparalleled club support with a growing team of more than 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications, and sponsorship. The USL has a national media partnership with ESPN, wherein all league matches are broadcast on ESPN+, ESPN3 and across linear channels. The league also operates USL Productions, which includes a state-of-the-art facility that produces and distributes more than 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates and international markets throughout the 2018 season.