ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico United got a pair of goals by Isidro Martinez in a 4-2 preseason victory against USL Championship rival Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday afternoon at the Mesa del Sol Sports Complex.
New Mexico looked to get on top early, and in the sixth minute an ambitious effort by Devon Sandoval as he looked to chip the goalkeeper from 40 yards went just over the top-left corner of the net. It was the Switchbacks that took the lead in the 13th minute, however, as they managed to turn over possession in the New Mexico end and work a pair of passes into the right side of the penalty area that allowed Zach Zandi to put home a first-time shot into the left corner of the net.
United hit back four minutes later, however, as Andrew Tinari slipped a backheeled pass past two defenders in the right corner to Harry Swartz as he cut toward the goal line. Swartz delivered a waist-high cross that was volleyed in near the top of the six-yard area by Isidro Martinez.
New Mexico threatened to take the lead in the 21st minute when Josh Suggs found space on the left to deliver a cross that just went over Sandoval at the near post but came to Swartz, whose shot was blocked away. Colorado Springs goalkeeper Abe Rodriguez then made a big save to keep out a header by New Mexico’s Sam Hamilton off a corner kick.
The hosts grabbed the lead five minutes before halftime, though, as well-worked piece of play delivered the ball to Suggs in the left side of the penalty area. Rodriguez did well to make an initial save on his elevated shot, but Amando Moreno was on hand to tap home the rebound from close range. Then in the final minute of the half, Swartz got on the scoresheet as he broke into space on the right after a good 1-2 near the halfway line and fired a low shot into the left corner of the net.
Colorado Springs came out brightly to start the second half, and that was rewarded in the 49th minute when a slipped pass into the penalty area found Hadji Barry for a low shot into the right corner of the net. New Mexico goalkeeper Philip Beigl then had to be quickly off his line to clear as Barry looked to latch onto another through-ball to the top of the penalty area.
New Mexico almost restored its two-goal advantage on the hour-mark when Suggs again found space to deliver a cross from the left that this time found Sandoval, but the United forward’s flicked header came back off the right post and was cleared to safety. Alex Bruce then took another effort from distance similar to Sandoval’s in the early stages, this time from inside the center circle, that went over the crossbar.
Bruce had a better chance to find the net with eight minutes to go when he brought down a long pass in the right side of the penalty area but couldn’t put his finish past Rodriguez. A minute later, however, Martinez bagged his second of the afternoon for the hosts with a spectacular curling finish from the top-left edge of the penalty area to the top-right corner of the net that put the game away.