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United knocks off MLS’ Rapids in U.S. Open Cup

New Mexico United players celebrate after beating the Colorado Rapids during the U.S. Open Cup on June 12, 2019. (Courtesy New Mexico United)

New Mexico United got off to a hot start with Devon Sandoval’s goal in the third minute, finished regulation even hotter with Kevaughn Frater’s equalizer in stoppage time and Chris Wehan’s game-winner in the shootout Wednesday in Commerce City, Colo., in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The score was 2-2 after regulation and overtime, and 4-2 in penalty kicks.

After Sandoval’s early goal got a pro-United crowd fired up, Colorado’s Diego Rubio tied the score in the 35th minute. Nicolás Mezquida put the Rapids ahead 2-1 with a goal in the 46th.

United played with a man advantage since the 75th minute when Colorado’s Axel Sjöberg got his second yellow card but could not find a goal in 30 minutes of extra time.

After 120 minutes, the two teams headed to penalty kicks.

Colorado’s Kellyn Acosta calmly buried his first shot. Frater followed with an easy make to even the PKs at 1-1.

United goalkeeper Cody Mizell then made a diving save on Danny Wilson’s shot and Santi Moar put New Mexico up 2-1.

Keegan Rosenberry got his shot past Mizell and Sandoval put his shot in the back of the net.

Colorado’s Sam Nicholson hit his PK over the net and Wehan, a former Lobo gave United the win.

The expansion United, which is leading the Western Conference of the USL Championship, returns to USL action Saturday in Las Vegas, Nev., against the Las Vegas Lights FC.

New Mexico will learn its next Cup opponent in the round of 16 on Thursday.