United falls 2-1 as Colonna nets first career goal

United falls 2-1 as Colonna nets first career goal

New Mexico United went into San Antonio as massive underdogs this weekend and a lackluster first half was too much to overcome as United fell by a final of 2-1 to the defending champions.

The first half was largely controlled by the hosts despite United ending the half with the edge in possession. United looked sloppy on the ball at times and looked slow compared to San Antonio. Across the pitch, the first step of the host players played a big role in the visuals on the pitch. They were quicker to loose balls and stepped to United players, oftentimes in numbers, and forced United into making mistakes.

It was the hosts that would make the first blow early on in the match. Coming off of an inexplicable loss last weekend, they were pushing for an early opportunity to prevent United from getting any momentum. In the 20th minute, they took advantage of a slow reaction by Amando Moreno when Lamar Batista picked his pocket. Driving up the left channel, Batista squared the ball to Rida Zouhir. Zouhir started to the right, running along the edge of the goal area.

With a sudden cut back to his left, Zouhir created a slight amount of space for him to square his hips to the goal. He sent a left-footed shot into traffic, but the ball somehow found its way past multiple United defenders and into the back of the net, 1-0.

San Antonio doubled their lead just before halftime when United was unable to deal with a loose ball in the area. With two minutes to play in the half, Harry Swartz conceded a foul just outside the left edge of the goal area, putting the hosts in a great position to potentially pick up a second goal. Jorge Hernandez put a diving cross toward the back post, hoping to find Mitchell Taintor. Instead of finding Taintor, the cross went off of the foot of Sam Hamilton and unfortunately fell to Fabien Garcia. Garcia shot the ball back across his body and shook the back of the net again, with the eventual match winner, 2-0.

After halftime, United looked like a completely different club. They played with intent and were the aggressors for much of the second half. After not playing direct enough in the first half, the verticality of play drastically increased in the second half and it put United in a position to create shots, something they didn’t do at all in the first half.

In the 57th minute, San Diego State alum Kyle Colonna bagged his first professional goal for United to cut the lead in half. After winning a corner, Justin Portillo send the ball into the area where both Sergio Rivas and Josh Dolling had attempts on goal before the ball fell to the defender. Colonna punched the ball in from short range to make the score 2-1.

Player of the Match

Kyle Colonna – With his first professional start, Colonna played well against a physical San Antonio side and contributed at both ends of the pitch. He showed out against Taintor and even netted the first goal of his career.

Up Next

After losing their unbeaten run, United returns home to play against El Paso Locomotive FC on Devon Sandoval Night on June 3. “Being able to honor a hometown hero, Devon Sandoval, who remains a part of our club, we can’t wait to have one more moment on the field with him,” said New Mexico United owner Peter Trevisani on his weekly segment on TEAM Talk on 101.7 The TEAM. Devon Sandoval Night kicks off at 7:00 p.m. (MT) with coverage beginning at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM with the pre-game show starring Adam Diehl and Andy Hageman.