In what could easily be called the most exciting, dramatic match in their brief 2-year history, El Paso Locomotive FC defeated FC Tulsa 4-2 in penalty kick shootout to advance to the conference semi-finals. The shootout came after a grueling 120 minutes of play that ended in a 2-2 tie. The Locos will now face off once again against New Mexico United at Southwest University Park next Saturday to determine which team will advance to the western conference finals.

The match itself was one where the Locomotive was the most proactive of the two teams in seeking the victory. There was countless opportunities for Locos to win the match and avoid what is essentially a coin flip in a penalty kick shootout.

Things got off to a quick start as the visiting team scored in the 5th minute but the goal was negated because of an offsides call. Fourteen minutes later the Locos would take the lead when a miscommunication between the Tulsa defensive line and the goalkeeper would allow for Leandro Carrijo to pick the pocket of the visiting side reacting to a moment of hesitation by the other team that allowed him to score his first goal with the Locomotive.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre

Tulsa would tie the match in the 38th minute when an attack down the right flank would produced a ball that would weakly get past Locos goalkeeper, Logan Ketterer and find Rodrigo da Costa who would just have to push the ball into the back of the net.

The team from Oklahoma would take the lead in the 68th minute when a contested ball at the edge of the Locos goalbox would cause Ketterer leave his line and come out of his goal, Ketterer would not be able to get to the ball because Callum Chapman-Page would get his head on the ball first for the goal.

The Locomotive would tie in the 82 minute of the match off of a corner kick. Dylan Mares would take the kick that would find Leandro Carrijo for the header to give the Locos the tie.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre.

This would send the match into extra time. The 2, 15-minute periods would be dominated by the Locos especially after Tulsa would have a player sent off with a red card in the 101st minute of the match. Unfortunately the ball would not go in. The crossbar, the Tulsa goalkeeper would deny the Locos on more than several occasions.

The shootout would see a Tulsa player kick the ball over the goal and Ketterer stop a kick. El Paso would score on all
4 of their kicks for the win, with the clincher coming from Saeed Robinson.

El Paso head coach Mark Lowry would comment after the match what was needed to win the shootout. Lowry commented, "People say that at that point it becomes like a 50-50 toss up. But if you approach the penalty shootout with a right frame of mind and you’re just present in the moment and not worried about the pressure or what going on around you and take your kick. The four guys that stepped up to take those kicks tonight were fantastic and it’s in those moments that I give those guys a lot of credit."

Next week’s match against New Mexico United is expected to sell out.