United's hard work doesn't fully pay in 0-0 draw - Albuquerque Journal

United’s hard work doesn’t fully pay in 0-0 draw

The inherent cruelty of soccer was on display at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Cashman Field on Friday night.

New Mexico United utterly dominated the second half of its match against Las Vegas Lights, outshooting the hosts 11-3, putting ball after ball in front of the net and forcing a late takedown that looked for all the world like a sure penalty.

The call didn’t come, a goal never materialized and United was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw that proved helpful in the standings but was not wholly satisfying.

“Definitely a little disappointing not to get three points,” United coach Zach Prince said in a postgame phone interview. “We picked up an important point toward the playoffs and getting there is our primary goal, but I’m glad there’s a tight turnaround. We have a game at home Wednesday (vs. LA Galaxy II), so we can put this one behind us and get focused on that.”

Friday’s draw allowed NMU (44 points) to move into fifth place in the tight USL Championship Western Conference race, one point ahead of El Paso with three games remaining. Seventh-place Rio Grande Valley (42 points) hosts Louisville on Saturday, while Las Vegas (41 points) remained in eighth place after Friday’s draw with just two games left to play.

Most frustrating for New Mexico (11-9-11) on Friday was a golden scoring opportunity in the 89th minute, when Chris Wehan got past his defender on a move into the left side of the penalty area. Las Vegas’ Dekel Keinan swept Wehan’s legs out from behind to prevent a shot attempt.

Keinan received a red card, but the official ruled the takedown occurred outside the penalty area. United’s players and coaches spent several minutes questioning the call, but Wehan ultimately settled for a free kick that was headed away by a Las Vegas defender.

Prince thought the takedown occurred inside the penalty area.

“Yeah, it did,” he said. “It might’ve been on the line, but the line is part of the box. We had a similar call go against us against San Antonio, where they ruled a penalty happened on the line. They scored the penalty, we lost 1-0, so yeah, very frustrating.”

Friday’s controversial call was part of a wild final 10 minutes, where both teams had significant scoring chances. Amando Moreno and Kalen Ryden sent shots just over the crossbar for New Mexico, and Las Vegas’ Cal Jennings redirected a deflected cross too high in front of an open United net.

Jennings’ shot aside, NMU was the clear aggressor after a largely sluggish first half (no shots on goal by either team). Kevaughn Frater, Sergio Rivas and Wehan all forced Las Vegas goalkeeper Abraham Romero to make diving saves in the second half.

“The first half was a little strange,” Prince said. “There were a lot of guys going down and staying on the ground for several minutes. It was hard to get any kind of rhythm. But I thought we started building some momentum in the last 10 minutes and the guys did a great job carrying that over in the second half.”

The match was physical throughout with 35 fouls called (21 on Las Vegas), five yellow cards (four on Las Vegas) and Keinan’s red card at the end of regulation time. The home team finished with 59% of the possession but did not record a shot on goal. New Mexico had three.

Home » Sports » United’s hard work doesn’t fully pay in 0-0 draw


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Prep notes: Sandia cross country star West wins big ...
Featured Sports
Steven West was already New Mexico's ... Steven West was already New Mexico's cross country star runner this year. But last weekend, the Sand ...
2
Trout expects a motivated foe, hostile crowd in Friday ...
Boxing/MMA
At age 37, Austin Trout could ... At age 37, Austin Trout could spend time pondering the inevitable end of his long and successful com ...
3
Shaiquel McGruder's monster performance, strong finish leads UNM women ...
College
On a rainy Wednesday night with ... On a rainy Wednesday night with a late-arriving crowd, the UNM women's basketball team seemed to need a litte wakeup call in the Pit. ...
4
Sports Speak Up! Reader blasts New Mexico State's handling ...
Featured Sports
WE ALL should be quite concerned ... WE ALL should be quite concerned about how New Mexico State University coaching staff and administrators handled the aftermath of the deadly shooting incident ...
5
Emptying the Notebook: A Birima Seck appreciation article
ABQnews Seeker
UNM Lobo forward Birima Seck shoots ... UNM Lobo forward Birima Seck shoots over Western New Mexico's Isaiah White during Tuesday's game in the Pit . (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)Here are some extra ...
6
Lobos take care of business vs. Western New Mexico, ...
College
All 12 Lobos who played got ... All 12 Lobos who played got in the scoring column, including the walk-ons, and UNM cruised to remain one of the country's final 10 ...
7
Prep basketball: La Cueva girls end Volcano Vista win ...
Boys' Basketball
It was going to happen sooner ... It was going to happen sooner or later. And it finally happened Tuesday night. The Volcano Vista High School girls basketball team hadn't lost ...
8
Lobo football: Haulcy honored again; two players are leaving
College
A.J. Haulcy's standout true freshman season ... A.J. Haulcy's standout true freshman season for the New Mexico Lobos earned him another honor on Tue ...
9
UNM women brace for a different breed of 'Cats ...
College
Different bunch of Wildcats, different set ... Different bunch of Wildcats, different set of challenges. That’s what the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team will face when Abilene Christian visits ...