AUSTIN, Texas – Santi Moar came off of a one-game suspension and scored two second-half goals that led New Mexico United to a 3-1 win Saturday over host Austin Bold FC.
United, which leads the Western Conference, is 6-1-6 in USL Championship Division soccer, and its 24 points are second best in the league. Only Eastern Conference leader Tampa Bay (7-0-5, 26 points) has a better mark in the entire 36-team league.
Moar played without his partner in offensive crime, USL player of the week Kevaughn Frater, who sat out the game because of an accumulation of yellow cards. Frater had a hat trick in United’s last league game, a 3-1 win over Colorado Springs.
United’s next action is back in Colorado Springs for a rematch in a third-round game in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Saturday in Austin, United grabbed a 1-0 lead on an own goal by the Bold’s Amobi Okugo in the 29th minute.
Isaac Bolden’s close-range header in the 55th minute tied it at 1-1 before Moar emerged. His 62nd-minute free kick found the bottom right for a 2-1 lead, and he clinched the match with an angled right-to-left shot on a fast-break dish from Devon Sandoval in the 88th.
Austin fired 13 shots at United goalkeeper Cody Mizell, but only 3 of them were on target and only 1 slipped past. United found success in possession (55%) and precision (50% shots on target).
It was Austin’s first loss (4-1-1) in six home matches.