CHARLESTON, S.C. – New Mexico United scored early in either half to take a 2-0 victory against the Charleston Battery as Chris Wehan notched his first goal of the season, earning victory for United Head Coach Zach Prince against the club he spent his entire professional playing career with at Patriots Point on Saturday night.
New Mexico got out to an ideal start as in the fifth minute a move across the field from the left released Daniel Bruce into space on the right, allowing the English winger time to pick out a cross for Neco Brett to control and shoot home from eight yards for his fourth goal of the season. Sergio Rivas also had a long-range effort saved for the visitors before the Battery carved out their first good look of the game in the 24th minute when Aidan Apodaca pulled a pass back to Andrew Booth from the right to the top of the penalty area for a first-time shot that was saved by United goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
Booth tried again just past the half-hour mark but didn’t make as clean a contact as his shot went wide of the left post before New Mexico went close to a second as Cristian Nava played Wehan into the left side of the penalty area for a shot that beat goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux only for Brett St. Martin to clear behind from inside the six-yard area. United was the beneficiary of its own good piece of defensive work soon after when Harry Swartz blocked a header by Booth off a corner kick by Apodaca a minute before halftime, and moments later Tambakis made an excellent save to deny Apodaca’s close-range header to keep the visitors ahead at the break.
The visitors took only 16 seconds to add to their lead in the second half as Wehan played Rivas into the left side, and when the winger tried to return the pass into the six-yard area it deflected off a defender and set up nicely for Wehan, who shot home low for his first goal of the season. Wehan then almost set up Nava for his first goal in the professional ranks with just over 20 minutes remaining as the 18-year-old’s first-time shot was parried by Fauroux, while Brett had an effort blocked away late on, but the Battery were unable to find a way past Tambakis in his return to action as the visitors claimed a big road victory against their Black and Yellow counterparts.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Chris Wehan, New Mexico United – Wehan notched the second goal of the night for the visitors for his first of the season and had three shots and one key pass overall while completing 20 of 24 passes and 4 of 4 duels.
NM – Neco Brett (Daniel Bruce) 5’
NM – Chris Wehan 46’