Locomotive Stay Hot with 3-2 Victory Over New Mexico United
El Paso Locomotive FC defeated New Mexico United for the first time in the young history of this regional rivalry by the score of 3-2 Saturday night at Southwest University Park. The Locos were able to come back to tie the game on two occasions before the game winning goal came in the 88th minute. The win extends the Locos undefeated streak to 5 matches. More importantly, the win gets El Paso within 2 points of the team they just defeated in the standings of group C in this altered and abbreviated 2020 USL Championship season.
The score line opened in the 13th minute when Amando Moreno beat Mechack Jerome on a break and headed for a one on one against Locos goalkeeper Logan Ketterer, Moreno dumped the ball off to David Estrada at the last second who then scored on an open net.
Twelve minutes later the Locomotive would come up with the equalizer off a corner kick when Dylan Mares would send off a corner kick to the far post, defender Macauley King would be there to head the ball in.
Before the first 45 minutes came to an end a penalty kick would be called in the United’s favor after a Locomotive defender committed a blatant tackle on a New Mexico player. Forward, Devon Sandoval would take the kick and score for the 2-1 lead.
The second half would belong to the team from the 915 as they were the proactive side for the entire half, dominated possession and created the majority of threat on goal that would ultimately lead to the victory.
Omar Salgado became a significant factor dominating the left attacking flank which is where both goals for the Locos would come from in the second half. In the 60th minute Salgado attacked down that flank and crossed a dangerous ball deep into the United’s goalbox, defender Austin Yearwood would get enough of his foot on the ball to redirect it to the back of the net for the 2-2 equalizer. An own goal by Yearwood.
The match winner would also come from the El Paso native as Salgado would make a run down the left flank and would connect a pass to attacking runner Dylan Mares. Mares would take his shot as the ball arrived to his feet for the match winning goal.
Unofficially and in this humble reporter’s opinion, Mares and Salgado were the co-players of the match.
After the match, head coach Mark Lowry commented regarding getting their first ever victory against their biggest rival New Mexico. Lowry said, “I don’t wanna make too much of it cuz it wasn’t a thing that we were really focused on. We feel like if we played well against them 3 out of the 4 times. We looked at some games and went through some stats with the guys from the last four games. We out shot them, out possessed them, won more duels than them and won all the physical battles. You keep doing that, eventually you’re gonna get the rewards and tonight they got the win. I don’t wanna say it’s more important because we finally got the win. It’s more just that it’s a rivalry game and you wanna beat your rivals.”
Up next for the Locomotive will be another home match against San Antonio FC who has stellar record of 8 wins, 3 draws and 0 loses for 27 points in 11 matches. The match is scheduled for Saturday, September 12 and is scheduled kickoff at 7:30 pm.