DERAILED: Locomotive Give Up 4 Goals and Lose to Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC fell to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Wednesday night by the score of 4-1 at Southwest University Park. El Paso fell completely apart in the second half allowing three second half goals that not only gave the Locos a loss, but also put them on the outside looking in as far as the USL Championship playoffs go.
Locomotive has only two more matches left in the regular season (this Saturday at home against Orange County SC and a road match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in Florida on Wednesday night.), and both matches have turned into absolutely must win matches if the Locos aspire to make the playoffs.
El Paso went into the halftime break tied 1-1, playing better than the Switchbacks in the opening 45 minutes. Colorado Springs took the early lead in the 22nd minute on a breakaway goal by Michee Ngalina. Six minutes later the Locos’ forward Luis 'Lucho' Solignac got the equalizer via a header off of a cross from the right flank.
Locomotive had a couple of opportunities on goal in the very early going of the second half. However, in a 15 minute span starting in the 54th minute, the Locos conceded 3 goals.
Ngalina scored two of those three goals to get his hat trick for the night.
The theme for all the goals the El Paso conceded was the same, a result of a counterattack. The Achilles heel that has haunted the Locos all of 2022 crept back into the forefront on Wednesday night in downtown El Paso, transition and the counterattack.
After the match, Solignac and Eric Calvillo echoed the exact same sentiments and declared that this was a defeat that the entire team was responsible for. They acknowledged that the team inexplicably came out flat in the second half.
Locomotive head coach John Hutchinson said the following about his team’s performance, "I honestly didn’t see it coming, I don’t know if anyone saw it coming. My staff didn’t, training’s been great, really good. In the first half we were fine. We have half a chance early in the second half, then it just all crumbles from there."
If there is any silver lining to what happened last night is that there is a quick turnaround for El Paso. They host OCSC on Saturday in their next to last regular season match. The Locos must win. A draw or a loss and the evening will turn into a “farewell, until next year” type of night at SWUP.