Detroit City FC gives up disputed goal in final minutes, draws New Mexico United

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

Hamtramck — Well, that one's going to sting.

Detroit City FC was on the verge of picking up a crucial win before the bye week when New Mexico United scored a controversial goal in injury time, spoiling the party at Keyworth Stadium as the late equalizer resulted in a 2-2 draw.

In the 92nd minute, a lob to the middle of the field was played by the head of Devon Sandoval to Neco Brett, who finished from up close to tie the score. DCFC (9-8-4) players argued that the play was offside, to no avail.

FILE - Maxi Rodriguez scored on a penalty kick in the first half against New Mexico United on Saturday night.

"I haven't seen it, but the boys were telling me the fellow was offsides," James said. "And you know, maybe to get a draw, may have been a fair result. But when you're 2-1 in front with minutes or seconds or whatever it was left, you just want to take care of it and see the game out. They'll be disappointed. We were a bit frustrated in the locker room, disappointed that we didn't get the three points, because the shift was a hard shift."

DCFC reported an attendance of 7,470, which is the fourth-highest attended match in club history and a record attendance at Keyworth Stadium for a regular season match.

Maxi Rodriguez scored on a penalty kick in the first half and Deklan Wynne had a go-ahead goal, assisted by Connor Rutz, in the second half. DCFC scored multiple goals in a game for the first time in nine games (May 21 against Atlanta United).

"We focused a lot on the forward side, the attacking side of the game in the last week or two. So, a little bit of combination play and a little bit of play in the final third, and what do we do in the final third, (what are) our options?" James said.

DCFC only had three shots on target, but took 16 in total.

"I think we came out a little slow, but I think we got going quicker in the first half than we have most games, so it was good," Rodriguez said. 

DCFC was handed down a whopping six yellow cards, compared to two for New Mexico. James said that it becomes tough to manage the game when so many players are close to a second yellow card.

"(There were) dubious decisions, let's put it that way, from a referee who was far more involved than probably everyone else in the stadium would have liked," James said. 

Most of the action was on DCFC's defensive half to start the game. But things started to shift in the 20th minute, when Connor Rutz went on a run with Rhys Williams that garnered to high-danger chances for Le Rouge before eventually producing a corner kick.

Just a few moments later, Rodriguez put DCFC on top with his fifth of the season. A handball in the box gave DCFC a corner kick. Rodriguez officially scored in the 25th minute, sending his shot low and to the left of New Mexico keeper Alex Tambakis.

But the lead didn't last long. Chris Wehan tied the score for New Mexico in the 30th minute, putting home a free kick from just outside the box past DCFC goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher to make it a new game.

Steinwascher's biggest save of the game came right at the start of the second half. A point-blank shot in the 47th minute sent Steinwascher flying across his goal to make a diving save and keep the score 1-1.

In the 62nd minute, Rutz placed a perfect through ball to send Wynne on a run, which resulted in him putting the ball in the back of the net for his second goal of the season.

DCFC will now have a week off, its last bye week of the regular season, before heading to Tampa Bay on Aug. 6 to start its final 13-game stretch with a matchup against the second-place Rowdies.

nbianchi@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @nolanbianchi