ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Harry Swartz scored a late equalizer as New Mexico United earned a 1-1 draw against San Diego Loyal SC at Isotopes Park on Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 12,709, the highest the club had welcomed since its inaugural season in 2019.
The game opened patiently, and it wasn’t until the 18th minute that either side found a good look at goal as New Mexico’s Chris Wehan and Neco Brett combined to set up a shot for Academy product Cristian Nava that was saved by SD Loyal’s Koke Vegas. The visitors got their first good chance 10 minutes later when United goalkeeper Ford Parker was unable to cleanly handle a shot by Nick Moon, giving Kyle Vassell a chance on the rebound that he sent high of the crossbar from the left side of the penalty area. Vassell put SD Loyal ahead in first-half stoppage time, however, as broke onto a headed pass by Tumi Moshobane into the penalty area after a long goal kick upfield for his sixth goal of the season.
New Mexico almost hit back just three minutes into the second half as Nava controlled possession near the top-right edge of the penalty area but saw his shot slide just wide of the left post, while Moon threatened at the other end as he beat his defender with a clever move and broke in on goal in the 57th minute but was well denied by Parker as he shot toward the left corner. Moon had another effort saved by Parker with 20 minutes to go on a low shot from the top of the penalty area, while Brett was denied for the hosts on a shot from a narrow angle from the right as Vegas turned his near-post shot wide.
The hosts continued to press for an equalizer and Vegas made a good close-range save to keep out Daniel Bruce with 12 minutes to go, but then a minute later SD Loyal was reduced to 10 players as Collin Martin was sent off for his second yellow card of the game. United tried to make that advantage count and in the 82nd minute Raddy Ovouka found space in the left side of the penalty area but had his shot saved by Vegas, but in the fourth minute of stoppage time the chance finally fell for the hosts as after Bruce’s initial shot was tipped onto the right post by Vegas the ball caromed to Swartz, who shot home from close range to earn the hosts a point.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Harry Swartz, New Mexico United – Swartz’s goal brought United’s three-game scoreless streak to an end and capped a solid performance that saw him complete 32 of 42 passes and win 6 of 7 duels for the hosts.
SD – Kyle Vassell (Tumi Moshobane) 45+1’
NM – Harry Swartz 90+4’