COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Chris Wehan scored a late game-winner as New Mexico United notched its first win of 2020 with a 2-1 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Weidner Field on Saturday night.
New Mexico took the initiative early on and both David Najem and Chris Wehan had long-range efforts that went just off target inside the opening 10 minutes. Colorado Springs’ first chance arrived in the 13th minute as Christian Volesky saw a shot from the left side outside the penalty area deflect off a defender and curl wide of the right post.
The visitors struck first, however, as a good through-ball sent Devon Sandoval into the penalty area for a first-time finish that was denied by Colorado Springs goalkeeper Sean Melvin. The ball caromed high into the air off the save, however, and was met crisply on the volley by Saalih Muhammed, who fired into the vacant net before Melvin could recover.
Colorado Springs almost hit back first-half stoppage time when Usvaldo Luna fired a long-range effort that rattled against the crossbar. But moments before the halftime whistle, Aidan Daniels found space for a shot of his own from 25 yards and it deflected off the left upright and into the back of the net to level the game at the break.
United almost regained the lead seven minutes into the second half when Wehan found space near the top of the penalty area and curled a shot toward the top-right corner that forced a stretching save from Melvin to turn the ball over. The Switchbacks then thought they had taken the lead with 11 minutes to go, only for George Lebese to be ruled offside as he turned in a low pass by Austin Dewing.
With three minutes to go, though, Wehan produced the moment that made the difference. Picking up possession on a counterattack in midfield, he drifted right as he approached the top of the penalty area and then hit a low shot toward the left corner that Melvin was unable to keep out, giving United three vital points in Group C.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Saalih Muhammed, New Mexico United – Muhammed’s strike was one you’ll see on highlight reels for years and he also made a good impact in the middle of the field for United overall.