Soccer match at Sam Boyd Stadium ends peacefully

Stacey Gualandi

Soccer match at Sam Boyd Stadium ends peacefully

CREATED Jul. 14, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- What a difference a week makes between soccer matches at Sam Boyd Stadium.

10 days ago, violence erupted during an exhibition match. But take away a bitter rivalry and increase security, and you have Saturday's game, which ended peacefully.

Fans of soccer teams from El Salvador and Mexico were cheering, laughing and hoping for a big win on Saturday.

Only this time they were under control and under the watchful eye of law enforcement.

This in the wake of a July 3 soccer match, where violence erupted before, during and after the game between rival teams from Mexico, sending six people to the hospital.

"We were caught a little short, so now to make sure we cover all the bases, you see what we have deployed for this event," said UNLV Police Lt. Jeff Green.

UNLV Police, with help from Metro, increased the number of officers significantly compared to 10 days ago. They were visible in the stands, in the parking lot and on the field.

"We knew what happened last week and don't want that to happen again, more importantly, show the public these venues are safe to attend," said Lt. Green.

The rivalry wasn't as bitter between Mexico's Monarcas Morelia and El Salvador's Firpo.

"I don't think that's going to happen. The team from Mexico is friendly," said Firpo fan, Frederico Gutierrez.

The stands were half empty and it seemed like there were just as many law enforcement officials at the game as fans, prompting many to wonder if last week's incident affected ticket sales.

Organizers declined to comment on camera, but they were pleased that the game ended without incident.

The only ones not happy after Saturday's game were the fans from El Salvador. Monarcas beat Firpo 2 to 1.

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