ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico United and Austin Bold FC played to a 0-0 draw before 9,288 fans at Isotopes Park on Saturday night as the hosts threatened but were unable to make their advantage in possession or shots tell against their Texas rivals.
Looking to strike early for a second consecutive game, Austin created the first chance in the ninth minute as a corner kick by Collin Fernandez found Sean Okoli for a header toward the right corner of the net that was saved by New Mexico’s Alex Tambakis. New Mexico’s first half-chance came in the 23rd minute, meanwhile, as a slide-rule pass by Sergio Rivas picked out the run of Isidro Martinez into the right side of the penalty area, but his low cross was well cut out by Bold FC defender Fabien Garcia to clear.
The visitors threatened four minutes later as Omar Gordon produced a great first touch at the halfway line to spin away from his marker and down the left flank, but his finish from the left side of the penalty area drifted well wide of the far post after the long run upfield, sending the game to the break scoreless.
New Mexico created the first good chance of the second half just past the hour-mark as off a corner kick from the right Kalen Ryden first had a header blocked before the rebound came back to the defender for a shot that was blocked over the crossbar by Alasanne Ates Diouf.
Ryden went close again with 14 minutes to go as a corner kick from the left by Rivas found the defender at the back post for a header that went just wide of the right post. Bold FC also created a chance with a corner of its own five minutes later, but Stefano Pinho’s header didn’t have enough pace to challenge Tambakis as he comfortably saved. New Mexico was unable to turn its late pressure into a clear chance for a winner, however, as honors ended even.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Justin Schmitt, New Mexico United – Schmitt completed 88 of 98 passes, recorded a pair of shots and won 8 of 11 duels and 5 of 5 aerial duels to keep Austin off the scoresheet defensively.