ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Loudoun United FC claimed its first victory of the season as Jonny Bolivar scored late in the first half in a 1-0 win against a New Mexico United side that played more than an hour down to 10 men at Isotopes Park on Saturday night.
The game opened quietly as both sides looked to settle, and it wasn’t until the 10th minute that New Mexico had the first chance at goal as Daniel Bruce’s first-time shot as he arrived late on a cross from the left by Devon Sandoval missed the target. New Mexico’s Amando Moreno tested Loudoun goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah with a low shot 11 minutes later, but moments later the hosts were reduced to 10 men as Austin Yearwood was sent off after bringing down Kairou Amoustapha as he broke toward a ball over the top just outside the penalty area.
Bolivar fired well over from the ensuing free kick for the visitors from 20 yards out, but he made no mistake five minutes before halftime as he picked out the top-right corner of the net from the top of the penalty area after Amoustapha rolled a pass across the top of the box from the right to set up the first-time finish.
New Mexico looked to find an equalizer early in the second half, and Isidro Martinez shot just over the crossbar on a free kick from the top-right edge of the penalty area in the 53rd minute. Josh Suggs then went closer as a cross from the right by Harry Swartz wasn’t well dealt with by the Loudoun defense allowing New Mexico’s captain to fire a shot that deflected just wide of the left post.
The visitors went close to doubling their lead just past the hour-mark as Amoustapha was played into the right side of the penalty area by Ted Ku-DiPietro for a low shot that was blocked behind by New Mexico goalkeeper Alex Tambakis. Bolivar then forced another save from Tambakis but didn’t get full purchase on a lifted finish with the goalkeeper shooting off his line to close down the angle.
New Mexico thought it had found an equalizer with 21 minutes to go as Ilija Ilic found the net only to be ruled offside after tucking home a low cross from the left. Two minutes later, a neat piece of interplay with Moreno put Sergio Rivas into the penalty area but Loudoun defender Robbie Dambrot made a crucial block to send the ball behind for a corner kick.
The hosts continued to push late on and Loudon’s Fordah produced an excellent save with three minutes to deny Suggs off a corner kick by Martinez from the left, but as the game ticked into 10 minutes of stoppage time Loudoun missed a big chance to put the game away as Bolivar skipped away from a defender but skied his finish over the crossbar. New Mexico’s late pressure brought one final chance as a shot by Ilic was blocked and then held by Fordah, but Loudoun held on to earn its first three points of the season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jonny Bolivar, Loudoun United FC – Bolivar scored the lone goal of the game and recorded six shots overall while completing 11 of 15 passes and completing 4 of 6 dribbles.
LDN – Jovanny Bolivar (Kairou Amoustapha) 40’