Colonna, Moreno lead United to 2-2 draw in San Diego

Colonna, Moreno lead United to 2-2 draw in San Diego

If New Mexico United ever needed a bounce back match, this was it. Coming off of three consecutive losses, and facing a tough opponent, United showed grit and determination to comeback from two deficits before picking up a point in a 2-2 draw.

As if United supporters didn’t already have nightmares after the loss to San Antonio, an early goal from San Diego brought up bad memories. In the 4th minute of the match, the hosts earned themselves a corner and a pair of headers saw them find the back of the net. The delivery from the left corner went to the far past where Grant Stoneman elevated and headed the ball back across the area to Adrien Perez. Perez’s header came from such a close distance that Alex Tambakis was unable to react in time, 1-0 San Diego.

This time at least, United found an answer. After earning a corner for themselves at the other end of the pitch, veteran midfielder Justin Portillo stood over the right hand corner and went far post with his delivery in the 9th minute. At the other end was San Diego State alum Kyle Colonna waiting for the ball. Colonna took the opportunity to head the ball down toward the Loyal keeper, Koke Vegas. The ball took a hard bounce off the turf and past the netminder for the equalizer and the second of Colonna’s career, 1-1.

United, to the surprise of many after recent performances, looked to be more than up to the task of taking on San Diego. Throughout the half, United looked for opportunities to get the ball forward and into the capable feet of new loanee Shanyder Borgelin. Although he wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunities he was given, he looked incredibly dangerous and was hard for San Diego to handle.

The two sides remained deadlocked for the remainder of the half and it wasn’t until the introduction of Moshobane that a change would occur.

In the 54th, Moshobane would enter the match and instantly have an impact. On his first touch of the night, he would receive the ball inside the box from Charlie Adams on the left. Moshobane had worked his way into space that was left open between Colonna and Kalen Ryden. The forward’s right-footed shot eluded Tambakis and put Loyal up again, 2-1.

As they looked for yet another equalizer, United would pepper the goal with shots, but only end up with five on target. Even with the lack of actual danger to the goal, they looked hungry.

It would take a stoppage time goal from Amando Moreno before it finally happened though. Seconds into stoppage time, Moreno had a perfectly timed run that saw him cut between two Loyal defenders. The defense that had been solid all night, completely lost track of the El Salvadoran as a pass came over the top from Justin Portillo. Moreno was able to corral the ball and put his shot into the bottom left corner for the equalizer, and a point, for United, 2-2.

Player of the Match

Kyle Colonna – Aside from picking up his second goal for the club, Colonna was a force defensively. Throughout the night Colonna could be seen frustrating former Championship Final MVP Ronaldo Damus. He was physical, he was intelligent in his tackles and was a big part of United’s success on the evening.

United returns to action on Wednesday, when they’re back home at The Lab. That night they will play host to Oakland Roots SC with coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN Radio 101.7 FM The TEAM with the pregame show starring Adam Diehl and Andy Hageman. The coverage continues with kickoff at 7 p.m. where you can hear every minute of every play on ESPN Radio 101.7 FM The TEAM, The TEAM website, or The TEAM apps.