COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Chris Wehan scored his fifth goal of the season as New Mexico United took a 1-0 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night at Weidner Field to maintain their position at the top of the Group C standings.
Looking to rebound from its first loss since the resumption, New Mexico got out on the front foot and almost opened the scoring in the seventh minute. After working the ball to right deep in Colorado Springs’ half, a ball back to the top of the penalty area found Wehan. The midfielder’s pass into the penalty area took a deflection, but Josh Suggs reacted quickly to make a close-range chance that was denied by Switchbacks goalkeeper Abe Rodriguez.
The teams exchanged chances just past the quarter-hour mark as a good cross by Colorado Springs’ Jordan Burt from the right found Christian Volesky for a back-post header that he sent wide. Wehan then fired a free kick from 30 yards just over the crossbar two minutes later.
The Switchbacks produced two chances just before the first-half hydration break as the hosts came further into the game. First, Austin Dewing found space 25 yards from goal and fired a shot to the left corner that was parried wide by United goalkeeper Cody Mizell. New Mexico’s shot-stopper then had to be sharp again as Aidan Daniels fired a free kick from 25 yards on target, only for Mizell to make a solid save.
Colorado Springs also went close just before the halftime break as Andre Lewis curled a shot just wide of the right post, but it was United that broke the deadlock in the final minute of the half as a low cross from the right by Amando Moreno took a slight redirection from Wehan at the near post and eluded Rodriguez to find the back of the net.
The game entered a lightning delay eight minutes into the second half. Following the resumption, New Mexico thought it had added to its lead in the 69th minute when Moreno slid in at the far post to turn home a low cross by Alex Bruce only for the offside flag to be raised. The Assistant Referee’s flag also denied a spectacular finish three minutes later when Devon Sandoval’s was ruled offside as he finished an angled cross by Wehan from the right with a bicycle kick from the left side of the penalty area.
The Switchbacks created a big chance to level with five minutes to go as a well-worked move gave Volesky a chance in the center of the penalty area, but Cody Mizell made an outstanding save to deny his shot to the right corner. A minute later it was Rodriguez turn to come up big for Colorado Springs as he turned away a one-on-one chance for United’s Wehan to keep it a one-goal game.
Wehan’s first-half goal would prove the difference, however, as New Mexico salted away the remainder of the game to take their second victory at Weidner Field this season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Chris Wehan, New Mexico United – Wehan scored the lone goal of the game and regularly threatened to help New Mexico find the net throughout the 90 minutes as it took a key road victory.