Locos and New Mexico United Tie 2-2 In Rivalry Opening Match
El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United tied 2-2 Wednesday night at Southwest University Park, in a match that could be described as a seesaw battle over the course of 90 minutes. The slow start for the Locomotive and a vital, juvenile defensive mistake within the first 15 minutes of the match marked the difference in this one costing the Locomotive 2 points at the end of the night.
New Mexico found themselves with a gift of a goal in the 11th minute when a moment of doubt, hesitation and miscommunication between defender Mechack Jerome and Logan Ketterer left a softly bouncing ball for United forward Chris Wehan inside the 6 yard goal box with a wide open goal, to take the 1-0 lead.
El Paso slowly but surely stared to execute their style of play as the first half progressed. The body of work over paid off in the 43rd minute when Bryam Rebellón sent a streaking cross coming in from the right flank that Omar Salgado met inside the 6-yard goal box to push it in for the equalizer.
Less than six minutes later, in the final moments of the first half, Rebellón once again sent in a ball into the 6 yard goal box via a bicycle kick off of a short corner kick that was met by Andrew Fox who proceeded to push it in for the go ahead goal.
The second half started to get complicated around the 65th minute for the hosting Locomotive as it was becoming evident that the United had worked their way to getting closer to getting the equalizer than the Locos taking a two goal lead. Ten minutes later, the constant pressure from the visiting team would lead to a penalty kick being awarded to the United on a questionable ticky-tack foul.
The penalty kick would be converted by Devon Sandoval to even the score at 2-2.
The Locomotive would go on an all out attack in the final 12 minutes of the match, stoppage time included, but would not be able to land the game winner.
In the end Andrew Fox’s post match comments would give a perfect analysis of this rivalry match between these two sides. Fox commented, "The way the game went, in some sense perhaps a point ended up being the fair result. I think we had the better chances to win it, but there were definitely spells in the game when we took our foot off the gas. We just gave them a chance to get into it."
The team from the 915 will now have a week and a half to prepare for the encore battle with their regional rival as they will play again next Friday, July 24th at Southwest University Park.