In a match where New Mexico United once again needed to walk away with three points, they instead battled to a 0 – 0 draw with Sacramento Republic FC. Fortunately, the night wasn’t a complete loss for United after results from the other Western Conference clubs went in their favor.
Both sides started the match brightly as they fought for the opener. United’s opportunities were few and far between in the first half despite their best efforts. Inside of two minutes, United had put two shots toward Danny Vitiello, but neither Amando Moreno or Shanyder Borgelin could create enough of a threat to force a save out of the Republic keeper.
Republic appeared content to sit back and try to absorb the pressure from United for the entire match. This allowed the hosts to find openings for the counter, which was extremely dangerous throughout. Time after time, United found themselves needing to make a hasty retreat to try and slow down Republic after they got out on the break. United stood tall however, and every member of the defensive backfield had a standout moment where they stopped an attack from Republic. The back-and-forth nature of the first half ended without a goal for either side.
As the second half kicked off, the intensity showed no signs of waning. In the 49th minute Nicky Hernandez received a yellow card for a rash challenge on Cristian Parano, which set the tone for the second half.
Although the second half was debatably more intense than the first, the action was essentially a repeat of the first. United attempted to get forward only to be thwarted and then have to face down a counter attack from Republic.
United would get their best attempt of the night in the 75th minute when Sergio Rivas lined up a shot from outside the area. Looking to go to the bottom left corner of the goal, the put a hard boot through the ball, but Vitiello was quick to his right and made an impressive save to keep the scoreline level, 0-0.
Even the introduction of Greg Hurst and Jacobo Reyes as substitutes in the 70th and 83rd minutes respectively, lacked any real threat for United. When all was said and done, United had only managed to put three shots on frame the entire night and couldn’t find a way past the Republic keeper as the match ended, 0-0.
Results elsewhere helped keep United’s playoff hope alive despite not grabbing all three points. Monterey Bay FC lost to San Diego Loyal, 2-3, and Phoenix Rising drew with Indy Eleven, 1-1. Those results kept United three points back of Monterey for the final playoff spot.
Player of the Match
Will Seymore – Anyone on United’s defensive unit could be in this spot as they managed to stop one of the most potent counter attacks in the league. Time after time, Seymore and company managed to stand up Keko or any other member of the Republic to keep them off kilter for a much needed point.
United’s road trip continues as they now head to the east coast to take on Pittsburgh Riverhouds, the first place club in the Eastern Conference. That match is set to kickoff at 5:00 p.m. (MT) from Highmark Stadium.