ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico United defeated L.A. Galaxy II 3-2 Wednesday night to clinch a berth into the USL Championship playoffs. New Mexico missed the playoffs last season. Wednesday’s game was a rescheduled match, postponed last week due to weather.
New Mexico started the night knowing that a victory combined with a loss by rival El Paso Locomotive would get them into the postseason. El Paso lost to the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-1 during New Mexico’s game against L.A. Galaxy II.
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The only thing New Mexico had to do after that was won. The game did not start well. New Mexico’s Kaden Ryden pushed an own goal through for the visitors in the 6th minute to give then a 1-0 lead. Justin Portillo got the scoring started for New Mexico when he connected on a penalty kick in the 13th minute.
It was the equalizer at the moment, but by halftime, New Mexico trailed in the game 2-1. Michael Salazar found the net for L.A. Galaxy II in the 31st minute. The second-half scoring was all New Mexico and all one player. Harry Swartz would strike with the equalizer in the 49th minute. New Mexico had 19 shots with 6 on target. L.A. Galaxy II had 7 shots with 1 on target.
New Mexico also Swartz would later find the back of the net again in the 54th minute for the equalizer. New Mexico also had 8 corners compared to 3 for L.A. Galaxy II. The decisive moment in the game came in the 54th minute when Swartz found the back of the net once again to give New Mexico a go-ahead 3-2 score and a ticket to the postseason.
New Mexico will host Colorado Springs Switchbacks in their regular season finale Saturday. A win combined with a loss by Sacramento sets New Mexico up to host a playoff game for the first time in franchise history.