SD Loyal SC and New Mexico United finish in 1-1 draw

Credit: SD Loyal

Credit: SD Loyal

New Mexico United evens the game in stoppage time as Loyal miss out on three points.

Even though the score was low, this match was entertaining from start to finish. Neither side found the back of the net in the first half, but each team came very close.

The Loyal remain in second place in the Pacific Division with 47 points. With just three matches left, they need every point they can get to clinch the second seed.

This is a difficult swing for the Loyal. They were less than 30 seconds away from a crucial three points that would have put them up six over Orange County SC, who is in third place with 43 points. But it’s getting down to the wire, and the Loyal want to host a match in the postseason.

Despite the draw, this match had a lot of positives for manager Landon Donovan and the Loyal. Goalkeeper Austin Guerrero played as well as one could while also getting some important pieces back in the lineup.

Guerrero blocked multiple shots as he finished with a total of seven saves. Without his performance tonight, San Diego would have lost.

The first half finished scoreless, but the second half showcased an exciting finish. SD got on the board first from a corner kick. Alejandro Guido sent the ball in, and Douglas Martinez Jr. put one past the keeper with ease.

It took over an hour, but the Loyal finally connected. That was Martinez’s fourth goal of the season.

The Loyal were just seconds away from escaping with a 1-0 victory. NM ruined all the fun and finally connected with a goal of their own in the 90+4 minute. This is not the first time the Loyal have done this, as they have given up late leads in a couple of matches this season.

San Diego still earned a point and is looking great as the playoffs approach. There are more positive signs as they are getting crucial starters back. Jack Blake subbed in late for his first action in months from his injury. Augustine Williams returned from international duty, and Oliver Larraz also returned from an injury. This couldn’t have come at a better time for SD, as all eyes are on Orange County SC for Wednesday night.

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That is who the Loyal will face next. In what will likely be the biggest match in Loyal history, they travel to OC in what will be a battle for second place. Luckily, SD is up four, so they can’t give up the spot just let.

The match is Wednesday, October 20 at 7 p.m. OC is coming off a 1-0 win over the Oakland Roots SC Saturday night.

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