ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico United made a successful return to Isotopes Park after almost 19 months away as second-half goals by Brian Brown and Amando Moreno earned a 3-1 victory against Austin Bold FC on Saturday night.
After a slow start to the contest, Austin threatened first off a corner kick from the right that Sean Okoli directed on target from close range in the ninth minute only to be denied by United goalkeeper Alex Tambakis. By contrast, New Mexico’s first good chance produced the opening goal with 18 minutes gone when Harry Swartz delivered a cross from the right that found Sergio Rivas for a headed finish that just got past Austin goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux.
The teams then exchanged chances that were denied by outstanding saves. Bold FC was denied an equalizer in the 25th minute as Juan Pablo Torres unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards that Tambakis turned wide of the left post, while four minutes later Fauroux made a fine stop to keep out a free kick by Rivas that was pegged for the top-right corner of the net.
Austin hit back 30 seconds into the second half, however, as Torres controlled a ball at the top-left edge of the penalty area to keep an attack alive and slipped the ball to his right to Nick Hinds. The Nashville SC loanee created space to his left and fired a low shot into the bottom-right corner of the net to level things up.
Rivas continued to shine in his first game for United on home turf and was denied again by Fauroux in the 49th minute by a good one-on-one save. Bold FC’s goalkeeper committed a key error that saw United go back ahead just past the hour-mark, though, as he tried to claim a long ball forward at the edge of his penalty area, but instead spilled possession to New Mexico’s Brian Brown. The Jamaican international cut back past the goalkeeper and then lifted a deft chip into the right corner of the net to restore United’s lead.
That lead was doubled five minutes later as Josh Suggs released Andrew Tinari into space down the left flank, and Tinari delivered a fine cross that picked out Amando Moreno for a header back into the left corner of the net from the center of the penalty area. Moreno tried to add a fourth with nine minutes to go but his shot was comfortably saved by Fauroux, but the hosts had already done enough to ensure their first game on home turf in 574 days was a victorious one.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Sergio Rivas, New Mexico United – Rivas scored his first goal for his hometown club as part of a good all-around performance that saw him record three shots on goal and complete 25 of 28 passes and two key passes.
NM – Sergio Rivas (Harry Swartz) 18’
ATX – Nick Hinds (Juan Torres) 46’
NM – Brian Brown 61’
NM – Amando Moreno (Andrew Tinari) 66’