Kyle Vassell scores his sixth goal as club returns to Torero Stadium Saturday
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (May 7, 2022) – After going down 10 men in the second half, San Diego Loyal SC allowed a stoppage time goal to slip through resulting in 1-1 draw against host New Mexico United on a hot Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque. The draw gives SD Loyal its 20th point in the Western Conference standings through 10 games, its best start in franchise history.
SD Loyal (6W-2L-2D) appeared to be headed for its second consecutive road win as it defended well late in the match. It had taken a 1-0 lead with Kyle Vassell continuing to be an attacking force. The English striker scored in stoppage time of the first half to help his team to go up 1-0 at Isotopes Park. Combined with a standout outing by goalkeeper Koke Vegas, SD Loyal appeared to be on the cusp of another gritty road win.
Vassell sent in his goal seconds before halftime. He forced his way into the penalty box, fought off a defender and whipped his left leg to connect with the ball as he was falling. New Mexico United goalkeeper Ford Parker could not reach the quick shot as it bounced into his net. Tumi Moshobane headed the ball into the penalty area where Vassell battled for the ball and eventually scored his sixth goal of the season. Vassell had already had a chance earlier when he sent a shot over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper to beat. Vassell took the rebound from a Nick Moon shot that came off the face of Parker.
Moon nearly scored a goal of his own but had a couple of shots blocked on quick plays. He sped in between defenders and split them to get into the open and fire a shot with only Ford to beat on one of those plays. Ford dove to block the shot with his hands.
In the 79th minute, SD Loyal was trimmed down to just 10 men after second half sub Collin Martin was sent off for receiving his second caution of the match.
The difference would come deep in stoppage time of the second half (90+4), when Harry Swartz scored for the home side after he put back a ball that came off the right-post.
Landon Donovan’s team will now return home to host first place Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in what is sure to be a Western Conference thriller. The two top USL Championship teams are set to battle it out on Saturday, May 14 at Torero Stadium in the only home match for SD Loyal for the month of May.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
San Diego Loyal SC – Kyle Vassell (Tumi Moshobane), 45+1 minute: Vassell got a piece of the ball and whipped in a shot as he fell down. NM 0, SD 1
New Mexico United – Harry Swartz, 90+4 minute: Harry Swartz sent in a ball off the crossbar to tie the match in stoppage time. NM 1, SD 1