ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Josh Suggs marked his 200th regular-season appearance in the USL Championship with a goal to lead New Mexico United to a 2-0 victory against San Antonio FC on Wednesday night at Isotopes Park.
San Antonio had an early opportunity as Jose Gallegos corralled possession at the top-left corner of the penalty area and wove past one defender, but his shot from a narrow angle was blocked behind by New Mexico’s Harry Swartz. The visitors threatened again in the 25th minute as Jordan Perruzza turned his man well as he ran onto a pass into the left side of the penalty area that he cut back across goal, but Justin Dhillon skied his finish.
New Mexico didn’t create many clear-cut chances early, but 12 minutes before halftime took the lead as Suggs found the net. After receiving a pass from Austin Yearwood centrally, Andrew Tinari delivered a slide-rule pass through traffic into the penalty area to pick out Suggs, and the veteran controlled before firing low into the left corner of the net to put the hosts ahead.
San Antonio almost hit back seven minutes later as Gallegos turned his man in the left side of the penalty area to create space for a shot from a narrow angle, only for New Mexico’s Alex Tambakis to parry the effort away to safety. United defender Kalen Ryden then made a key block moments later to deny a chance for Dhillon and preserve his side’s lead.
United almost struck again four minutes into the second half as Amando Moreno battled through a challenge in midfielder before lining up a shot from 30 yards to the bottom-left corner than San Antonio’s Matt Cardone got down to save. The second goal arrived in the 52nd minute, however, as Juan Pablo Guzman sent a central free kick out to Yearwood on the left flank that allowed the defender to curl a finish from the top-left corner of the penalty into the top-right corner of the net for an outstanding finish in front of New Mexico’s main supporters’ section.
The visitors looked to get back into the game as both Marcus Epps and Gallegos fire chances that went off target just past the hour-mark, but as time ticked away the chances began to dry up for San Antonio as United looked to control possession and the tempo of the game. Tambakis was forced into one final big save in second-half stoppage time to keep out a chance for Nathan Fogaca that could have set up a big finish, but instead it proved the final opportunity for the visitors as New Mexico closed out the victory.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Austin Yearwood, New Mexico United – Yearwood played a part in United’s opening goal and then unleashed a world-class finish of his own in the second half to add to a solid defensive display that saw him win 9 of 11 duels and 6 of 8 aerial duels.
NM – Josh Suggs (Andrew Tinari) 33’
NM – Austin Yearwood (Juan Pablo Guzman) 52’