Lights FC bolted to a three-goal lead and buried New Mexico United 5-1 in a United Soccer League match Saturday before an announced crowd of 7,882 at Cashman Field, knocking NMU out of first place in the Western Conference.
Javan Torre and Christhian Hernandez scored in the first half for the Lights (5-6-4), who entered having scored one goal in their previous seven USL matches since April 20. They improved to 5-0-3 at home in league play.
Devon Sandoval scored on a header in the 88th minute for NMU (6-3-7), denying Lights goalkeeper Thomas Olsen his eighth shutout.
Torre converted a breakaway with a shot from about 10 yards out in the 32nd minute for his second goal of the season. Hernandez buried a rebound of a penalty kick eight minutes later.
Tabort Etaka Preston scored his third goal of the season early in the second half for the Lights, who held a 14-10 edge in shots.
Edwin Rivas answered Devon Sandoval’s goal by scoring in the 90th minute, and Junior Sandoval capped the scoring with a goal in extra time.
The Lights’ offensive onslaught came without Irvin Raul Parra, their leading scorer with eight goals. Parra was suspended for his reaction on Instagram to scoring in the Lights’ 1-1 tie with Orange County SC on June 8, according to coach Eric Wynalda.
The victory moved the Lights to 11th in the Western Conference. They next face El Paso Locomotive FC (7-2-5), which is tied atop the West with Phoenix Rising FC, on the road on June 22.
Jonathan Eskin covers the Lights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org