TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma Defiance and New Mexico United played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon at Cheney Stadium as the hosts created the better chances in the opening hour before United pushed for a winner in the final 30 minutes, only for no decisive finish to arrive as the Defiance remained undefeated at home this season.
Both sides opened positively, but neither was able to create a clear connection in the final third in the early going as a scuffed shot by New Mexico’s Amando Moreno – making his return to the lineup after competing for El Salvador at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup – that was easily saved proved the closest either side went in the opening 15 minutes. The Defiance produced the first big opportunity of the game in the 19th minute, though, as Ethan Dobbelaere delivered a cross from the right that picked out Sam Adeniran at the near post for a powerful downward header that forced a good save by United’s Alex Tambakis.
Adeniran had another half-chance for the hosts as he gained possession after a long ball upfield wasn’t controlled cleanly by a retreating Kalen Ryden for New Mexico, but Ryden recovered nicely to block the shot wide of the left post for a corner kick. The game remained scoreless into the second half when in the 56th minute Adeniran went close again as he picked up the pieces from a contested ball toward the top-right edge of the penalty area and fired a low shot the right corner that Tambakis turned wide of the post.
New Mexico carved out a chance of its own on the hour-mark with a good piece of interplay at the top of the penalty area that began and ended with Josh Suggs, whose well-struck shot from 25 yards was held by Tacoma goalkeeper Andy Thomas. Moreno then had the best chance of the game for the visitors to that point in the 66th minute as Devon Sandoval played him into the left side of the penalty area, only for Thomas to make an excellent one-on-one save. Moments later, Moreno got in again and appeared to be brought down in the penalty area by Thomas, but the referee declined to award a penalty kick.
The visitors continued to push for the opening goal as the game entered the final 10 minutes as Andrew Tinari intercepted a misdirected pass in the Tacoma half and strode into a shot from 25 yards that went just over the top-right corner of the net. United threatened once more with two minutes to go as Moreno played Suggs into the right side of the penalty area only for Suggs’ effort to go over the crossbar, but the sides were forced to settle for a point apiece as no late breakthrough arrived.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Andy Thomas, Tacoma Defiance – Thomas recorded a three-save shutout including the best save of the game to deny New Mexico’s Amando Moreno one-on-one midway through the second half to earn his side a point.