El Paso, Texas- El Paso Locomotive FC fell to San Antonio FC on Wednesday night by the score of 2-1. The result of the midweek match is the second loss in a row at home for Locomotive, who failed to secure a 1-0 lead that they took into the locker room at halftime. 

San Antonio scored twice in the span of less than five minutes in the second half, giving the win to the visiting side in what was an intense Copa Tejas match and allowing them to take over first place in the western conference of the USL Championship.

More than the match itself, everyone involved in this one and the fans in attendance will remember the fight that led to the abrupt end of this game. The altercation involving both teams and benches lasted well over five minutes and carried on into the tunnel of Southwest University Park.  

Here’s what happened

  • More than 25 minutes into the match and Locos still had not necessarily settled into the match. San Antonio was the better of the two. Locomotive’s first real threat on goal in the game did not come until the 26th minute when Eric Calvillo attacked down the right flank and sent a venomous cross that no one could get on the end of. 
  • In the ensuing sequence, it was Calvillo that once again attacked from the right flank. His intended cross was blocked and the rebound came right back to him, the midfielder then decided to dribble into the opposing goalbox. On his attempted shot he was tripped up by Jacori Hayes. It was an easy penalty kick call from referee Sergii Demianchuk in favor of El Paso. Calvillo converted in the 29th minute to give the Locos a 1-0 lead. 
  • The Locos began the second half more fluid and in rhythm than they were the entire first half, especially in their ability to get in the offensive third. That proficiency only last about 20 minutes 
  • The visiting side got the equalizer and took the lead in the span of four minutes. Both goals came from distance via the right foot of Rida Zouhia in what stood as almost identical goals from nearly the same spot on the field.
  • The melee at the end of the match resulted in seven yellow cards and two red cards

What was said

After the game, Locomotive head coach/technical director Brain Clarhaut provided his opinion as to why the recent matches with San Antonio, dating back to the preseason match, have been so intense.

“They have a certain style that disrupts their opposition, gets underneath people’s skin, and they’re effective at that. Let’s be honest, there’s a reason why they are defending champs from last year. It’s an in-state rivalry so it’s natural. I think they have had these outbursts, post-match, this isn’t the first one that has happened. We’re two good teams, it was a six-point game for me and that added to the fuel,” Clarhaut said.  

What’s next

As is always the case with a week in which three matches are played, it will be a quick turnaround for El Paso. They will have less than 72 hours to get ready for another Copa Tejas match as Locomotive will host the Rio Grande Valley Toros Saturday night at Southwest University Park in downtown El Paso. The Toros come into the Borderland in 10th place in the western conference with 23 points as a result of five wins, eight draws and five losses. Last week they defeated Orange County SC in the valley, they are currently on a six-match unbeaten streak.  

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