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 New Mexico United

Sweet Sixteen New Mexico United Bests MLS's Real Salt Lake to Punch Their Open Cup Ticket

May 8, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
New Mexico United News Release

Albuquerque, NM - New Mexico United punched their ticket to the U.S. Open Cup's Round of 16 in emphatic fashion with a 4-2 victory over the top team in the MLS Western Conference on Wednesday night. The Black & Yellow were too much for Real Salt Lake to handle, as two goals in two minutes from Zico Bailey, one right before halftime from Nicky Hernandez, and a dagger from Jacobo Reyes in the 85th ensured that United would see the Round of 16 for the second time in their 6-year history.

United started on the front foot in this one, earning four corner kicks in the first 14 minutes of the match. Their breakthrough came on the right foot of Bailey in the 18th minute , as he took a simple pass from Sergio Rivas, cut inside, and fired from just outside the box past Gavin Beavers for a 1-0 lead. He'd double the advantage just two minutes later as this time it was Harris who found him in nearly the same position. Again Bailey hit it on the right foot for 2-0.

Salt Lake pulled one back in the 36th minute, as Fidel Barajas tucked one by Alex Tambakis on the counter. But just before the break - five minutes into first half stoppage time - to restore the two goal advantage for the home team.

After the break, it was former El Paso Locomotive FC goal-scorer Diego Luna's turn to get into the scoring mix, again reducing the United lead to one. But United continued to push forward, and second half substitution Jacobo Reyes tucked home in the 85th minute to seal the victory, and a spot in Round of 32 for the Black & Yellow. The win moves them to 3-2 all-time against MLS clubs.

United will be on the road to take on NYCFC II in the Round of 16 on May 21st or 22nd.

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