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 New Mexico United

New Mexico United Tops Pittsburgh Riverhounds in Front of 11,000+ Fans to Kick off 2024

March 9, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
New Mexico United News Release

Albuquerque, NM - New Mexico United were victorious on Opening Day, riding a Greg Hurst goal late in the first half to top Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC by a 1-0 final score. United were dominant in possession, doubling the 'Hounds in that category by a 66%-33% margin. Terrific defensive work from Kalen Ryden, Talen Maples and Alex Tambakis earned the clean sheet for the Black & Yellow. 11,347 were in attendance at Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park.

Pittsburgh started on the front foot in this match, earning three consecutive corner kicks in the game's first three minutes. Following that brief spell, Pittsburgh would rarely threaten for the remainder of the match, finishing with an Expected Goals of 0.17, compared to New Mexico's 1.09, according to Opta.

Hurst was the loan man on the scoresheet, but wasn't the first to get close. In the 20th minute, Mukwelle Akale took a diagonal pass from Hurst, and chipped toward the back post, finding the head of Harry Swartz. But Pittsburgh goalkeeper Eric Dick parried the attempt away to keep the score level. It would stay that way until the 44th minute.

Jacobo Reyes received a terrific line-breaking pass from Marco Micaletto through the middle of the pitch. Reyes took two touches before sending a through ball of his own toward a cutting Hurst. Dick came off his line to get a touch to the ball, but Hurst maintained his composure to tap into the empty net for a 1-0 lead that United would not relinquish.

In the 95th minute, a corner for Pittsburgh threatened to even the score, but newcomer Talen Maples rose above all others to clear away and seal the three points for United. New Mexico's next match is on Saturday, March 16th against Rhode Island FC - the first match in that club's history. Fans can rewatch today's match at 10:30 PM on KOAT-TV.

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