Runners extinguish the Inferno FC, 12-9

by Charley Bickel

Rio Rancho, NM - After several hard fought home games in which the Runners found themselves on the short end of the scoreboard New Mexico posted their first home victory of the season defeating the Colorado Inferno FC 12-9 Saturday night at the Rio Rancho Event Center.

For the fourth time this year the Runners put their opponent in an early hole as Miguel Garcia scored four minutes into the contest sending former New Mexico goalie Casey Gasson to the turf in a desperate save attempt. In an odd turn of events the teams exchanged own goals with Gasson accidentally saving a ball back into Inferno's goal and Midfielder Mario Matute scoring Colorado's first goal on a botched clearance. Colorado followed up the own goal with a 5-1 scoring run, flipping the script on New Mexico converting an early 2-0 lead to a three score deficit midway through the second period. Midfielder Francisco Rivas did most of the damage during the run scoring three of Inferno's five goals. Despite the deficit, the Runners were determine to keep things competitive answering Colorado with a 2-0 run of their own down the stretch of the second period. Midfielder Jacob Gandarilla provided the halftime momentum scoring just 78 second prior to the break, bringing New Mexico with a goal of their rival to the north.

Unlike their previous win against the Wichita Wings, gamescript had the Runners playing from behind until 8:10 in the third frame when Captain Froilan Ramirez gave the Runners the 7-6 edge. New Mexico never relinquished the lead, closing the contest on a 5-3 run enroute to a 12-9 victory, their first of the season in front of their home crowd. Ramirez and Gandarilla both finished with a hat trick combining for six goals, exactly half of the teams total offense. Saturday's game marks the start of a three game series between these two teams that sees the Runners traveling to Colorado twice to close out their remaining road games. The game was also New Mexico's first come from behind victory of the year as well as the largest deficit the team has faced in a win in franchise history. The victory improves New Mexico to 2-6 on the year with Colorado still searching for their first win of the season as they drop to 0-6. Inferno leads the all time series 4-2 with the victory tying the home series at two apiece.

Colorado will not have to wait long for a rematch as the Runners travel to Colorado springs next week to face Inferno FC in Colorado Springs on Saturday Feb 12 at 7pm MST. The game will be streamed live on the Colorado Inferno FC Facebook page. New Mexico will be back in action at home on Feb 26 as the Runners look to sweep the season series vs the Wichita Wings. Kickoff is at 5:05 pm MST with doors opening an hour before the start. Tickets can be purchase from or from the Rio Rancho Event Center box office.