Connect with us

Pro Soccer

Hartford holds off New Mexico for second win in last three games

New Mexico’s Amando Moreno (10, left) and Hartford’s Modesto Mendez (2, right) battle for the ball in Saturday night’s USL Championship match in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Hartford Athletic)

Hartford’s Beverly Makangila and Antoine Hoppenot scored goals three minutes apart in the second half to help the Hartford Athletic men’s soccer team win for the second time in three weeks with a 2-1 victory over New Mexico United Saturday night before a sellout crowd at Trinity Health Stadium.

The Athletic (4-14-4) have combined to score six goals in the last three USL Championship games. And for the first time since October 14, 2021, Hartford erased a deficit to earn a victory. Visiting New Mexico scored just 13 minutes into the game and had a 1-0 lead at halftime.

“In the second half, it was very good. We had pressure on the ball and we didn’t them a lot of joy or too many opportunities,” Hartford interim coach Omid Namazi said. “The guys did a fantastic job of closing out the game.”

Hartford nearly took the early lead when Antoine Hoppenot found the back of the for Hartford in the sixth minute, but the goal was called off due to Andre Lewis being offside earlier in the play.

Seven minutes later, New Mexico’s Nicky Hernandez scored to give his team the lead. Modesto Méndez headed a cross away from the Hartford goal line and the ball fell to Hernandez, who bounced his shot off a volley up and over the diving Hartford goalie Joe Rice.

Hartford nearly tied the game just five minutes after conceding, when Edgardo Rito flew up the right flank and found Antoine Hoppenot in stride. Hoppenot scampered past the charging Alexander Tambakis and tapped his shot into the open goal. However, the goal was wiped out for a second time due to an offsides call.

Rice had an active half, making four saves. He came up with crucial back to back saves to keep Hartford’s deficit at one in the 41st minute, denying Amanda Moreno’s shot from distance and diving to block Santi Moar’s rebound attempt.

Hartford remained down a goal until second half substitute Beverly Makangila unleashed a beautiful strike to equalize for the home side in the 72nd minute. He received a pass from Andre Lewis outside of the New Mexico box, took a touch, and fired a sizzling shot into the top right corner of the net. It was a highlight-reel goal that brought a packed Trinity Health Stadium to life.

Just two minutes later, Hoppenot broke loose to chase down a perfect ball from Hartford teammate Conor McGlynn in New Mexico’s third of the field. Racing to the top of the box, Hoppenot booted his shot low and past the onrushing Tambakis to give Hartford the 2-1 lead.

The Green and Blue defended well the rest of the way, staving off seven New Mexico shots. The final whistle blew after seven minutes of stoppage time, and Hartford captured an emphatic 2-1 victory.

Defender Modesto Méndez made his first appearance for Hartford tonight, playing all 90 minutes after being acquired on Tuesday. He had a match-high 6 duels won (tied with two players). Daniel Bloyou also made his first appearance for the club, being subbed on in the 63rd minute.

Goalkeeper Joe Rice made six saves tonight, his third straight game doing so.

Hartford Athletic travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Riverhounds next Saturday, Aug. 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Hartford 2, New Mexico 1
At Hartford
New Mexico (8-9-4)        1  0  — 1
Hartford (4-14-4)             0  2  — 2
Goals: New Mexico: 13’ – Hernandez; Hartford: 69’ – Makangila (Lewis); Hartford: 72’ – Hoppenot (McGlynn); Shots: New Mexico, 18-6; Shots on target: New Mexico, 7-3; Corners: New Mexico, 8-7; Fouls: Hartford 12-8; Offsides 2-2; Saves: Joe Rice (H) 6, Alexander Tambakis (NM) 1
Starting lineups
— 13 (GK) Joe Rice, 5 (DF) Triston Hodge, 28 (MF) Conor McGlynn, 2 (DF) Modesto Méndez, 21 (MF) Kembo Kibato (Merrill, 45’); 77 (MF) Andre Lewis, 8 (MF) Juan Pablo Torres (Makangila, 63’); 10 (MF) Danny Barrera (Bloyou, 63’); 72 (DF) Edgardo Rito, 29 (FW) Antoine Hoppenot (Sheldon 82’); 7 (FW) Prince Saydee (Lapert, 90 + 2’)
New Mexico — 1 (GK) Alexander Tambakis, 22 (DF) Kalen Ryden, 5 (MF) Josh Suggs, 16 (DF) Will Seymore, 43 (MF) Justin Portillo, 10 (MF) Amando Moreno, 33 (DF) Harry Swartz, 7 (MF) Sergio Rivas, 8 (MF) Nicky Hernandez (Colonna, 88’); 11 (MF) Santi Moar (Reyes, 75’); 25 (FW) Daniel Bruce (Hurst, 75’)

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

More in Pro Soccer