The El Paso Locomotive FC suffered their first defeat of the season losing to rival New Mexico United by the score of 2-1 Friday night at Southwest University Park. The negative result drops the Locomotive to second place in Group C, 2 points behind New Mexico United after 4 matches.

The lack of offensive execution in the offensive third marked the difference in this one as the Locos controlled all aspects of this match. El Paso was proactive in seeking the result from the opening whistle and over the course of 90+ minutes.

Despite this, the Locos went into halftime down 2-0. Chris Wehan scored in the 35th minute off a set pieces play when Locos lost track of him defensively on his run, he met up with the ball just outside of the 6-yard box. His right foot strike would give the United the 1-0 lead.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre
Ivan Pierre Aguirre

Approximately 10 minutes later, in stoppage time, Devon Sandoval would extend the lead when he took a weak, but perfectly placed right footed strike from well over 20 yards out. Sandoval had both El Paso defenders Chiro N’Toko and Mechack Jerome surrounding him when he took the shot and yet was still able to pull it off.

The MVP for the second half would be the goalkeeper for New Mexico United, Cody Mizell. He had spectacular saves for his side on several occasions as a result of the offensive onslaught that was produced by Locos. That offensive persistence by El Paso would result in a penalty kick called in their favor in the 85th minute. Josue Aaron Gomez would take the PK and score on the attempt.

The match would end after 5 minutes of stoppage time giving the visiting side the win.
With 4 matches, or one-fourth of the season now in the books, the biggest worry for the team from the 915 has to be the lack of being thorough on the offensive attack and putting the ball in the back of the net.

The Locomotive are averaging 1 goal every 90 minutes or 1 goal a match. When asked about how much this was a concern in the post match press conference, head coach Mark Lowry simply responded, “I think that stat says it all.”

Up next for Locos will be their first road match since the restart. They will travel to the Valley of the Sun to face the Phoenix Rising next Saturday, August 1st. The Rising were the best team of the regular season last year and are off to a hot start this season with 2 wins and 1 draw.

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