Pinho’s Fifth Goal of Season Not Enough to Continue Home Winning Streak
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 28, 2022) – Indy Eleven saw its four-game home winning streak snapped this afternoon at IUPUI Carroll Stadium after falling 1-2 to a surging New Mexico United side in the teams’ first-ever meeting. Stefano Pinho’s fifth goal of the season with 10 minutes remaining sparked a comeback bid to life, but Justin Portillo’s first half golazo and an own goal early in the second half proved too much to overcome for Indy Eleven (5W-4L-2D, 16 pts.).
While the early stages of the match saw both sides create pressure in their respective attacking thirds, Indy Eleven midfielder Jonas Fjeldberg’s header off a second minute corner marked the only shot in the opening 20 minutes. Fjeldberg saw his day cut short in the 20th minute dur to an apparent hamstring injury and was replaced by midfielder Nicky Law, who just a minute later set up Indy’s best look of the half on a cross that Pinho headed off the crossbar.
It took New Mexico 37 minutes to get its first shot off, and a minute later its first attempt on frame changed the scoreboard against the run of play. Portillo ran onto Chris Wehan’s laid off ball at the top corner of the area, where he struck a first-time blast that curled off the underside of the crossbar, giving Eleven goalkeeper Tim Trilk no chance and putting the visitors in the lead. Two chances in quick succession by Pinho and Eleven midfielder Noah Powder in first half stoppage time were thwarted, sending Indy trailing into the locker room for just the second time in six home contests in 2022.
Trilk, who was making his first league start for Indy between the posts, came up big early in the second half, diving to his right to parry away a shot by Sergio Rivas. The 57th minute saw nervy moments for United with Indy flooding the area with numbers, the chance ending with Justin Ingram’s shot from the edge of the 18 headed away by a defender inside the six with United netminder Alex Tambakis scrambling.
An Indy back-pass gone wrong resulted in New Mexico’s second in the 63rd minute. Defender Mechack Jerome failed to make contact on Alex McQueen’s ball played back towards goal, and with Trilk away from his line the ball frustratingly rolled inside the left post to gift United a 2-0 advantage. Indy forward Manuel Arteaga nearly clawed one back in the 69th minute with a near-angle shot that forced Tambakis into a near post save.
After a couple of close calls in the first half, Pinho made his first chance of note in the second pay off with Indy’s opener in the 80th minute. Newcomer Solomon Asante, who entered just past the hour mark, showed off his MVP pedigree with a low, driven cross into the six, where Pinho beat his mark and dove in to redirect past Tambakis, setting up a potential Eleven comeback bid. However, only a few set piece opportunities would come out of the late going, sending Indy to its first home loss in eight games dating back to last September.
Indy Eleven will embark on a month-long, four-game road trip beginning next Saturday, June 4, when it heads to the Palmetto State to take on Charleston Battery. Kickoff at Patriots Point in Charleston is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (streamed live on ESPN+).
Indy Eleven’s next home match will also take place during a holiday weekend, as Indiana’s Team will host The Miami FC during its “Indy-pendence” Celebration game on Saturday, July 2. The special 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Carroll Stadium will be followed by a post-game fireworks display, and more details on the evening will be updated in the coming weeks at indyeleven.com/promotions.
Tickets for that July 4th weekend affair – and all remaining Indy Eleven regular season contests – are available starting at just $15 and can be purchased online at indyeleven.com/tickets. Fans who cannot make it to The Mike can follow the action on MyINDY-TV 23, Exitos Radio 94.3 FM/exitos943.com, and the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.
2022 USL Championship Regular Season – Matchday 11
Indy Eleven 1 : 2 New Mexico United
Saturday, May 28, 2022
IUPUI Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, Ind.
NM – Justin Portillo (Chris Wehan) 38’
NM – own goal (Mechack Jerome) 63′
IND – Stefano Pinho (Soloman Asante) 80’
IND – Manuel Arteaga (yellow card) 35’
NM – Jerome Kiesewetter (yellow card) 94+’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Trilk; Neveal Hackshaw (captain), Mechack Jerome (A.J. Cochran 76’), Jared Timmer, Alex McQueen; Sam Brown, Justin Ingram (Raul Aguilera 62’); Jonas Fjeldberg (Nicky Law 20’), Stefano Pinho, Noah Powder (Solomon Asante 62’); Manuel Arteaga
IND substitutes: Bryan Meredith (GK), Palmer Ault, Rodney Michael
New Mexico United (4-3-1-2): Alex Tambakis; Harry Swartz, Kalen Ryden, Will Seymore, Rashid Tetteh; Cristian Nava (Daniel Bruce 60’), Justin Portillo, Sam Hamilton (captain); Chris Wehan (Tabort Preston 92+’); Neco Brett (Jerome Kiesewetter 68’), Sergio Rivas
NM Substitutes: Ford Parker (GK), Alexis Souahy, Devon Sandoval, Michael Azira