Opening Night Loss Not Indicative of Locomotive Performance
If you could use one word to describe the final score of the El Paso Locomotive FC inaugural match Saturday night, that word would have to be “deceptive”. The Locomotive lost their first ever regular season match to OKC Energy FC by the score of 3-1, a deceptive final score when you take into account of the match that was for the course of 90 minutes.
Simply put, the visiting side generated 3 maybe 4 concrete opportunities to score the entire match and were able to put the ball in the back of the net on 3 of those occasions. This was a stark contrast from the execution done by the Locomotive in front of a sellout home crowd that consisted of more than 8,324 people.
Despite being scored on the first 12-seconds of the match on what some would consider a fluke play, the home side began to settle into the match with in the first 15 minutes and went about the execution that was requested by head coach, Mark Lowry. That immediately paid off for the Locos as the expansion franchise scored their first goal in franchise history in the 16th minute to even the match up at 1-1. Sebastian Contreras got past two defenders down the left flank and found Derek Gebhard closing in on goal so he could push it in for the equalizer.
The rest of the half would belong to the El Paso as they dominated in possession and in the amount of opportunities on goal created.
Unfortunately the second half would see two more goals from the Energy. The second goal would come off a throw in where a fast break would be created, Locomotive goalkeeper Logan Ketterer would unnecessarily come out of goal to impede the fast break, OKC’s Deshorn Brown would take advantage of this and get ball past Ketterer for his second goal of the match.
The third goal would be a product of circumstance, capitalizing off the all out offensive assault by El Paso in attempts to at least salvage a tie, as the visiting side would connect off of a long ball from Kyle Hyland to Cordell Cato for the third and final goal of the night in the 81st minute of play.
After the match a dejected Locomotive head coach, Mark Lowry did not hold back on his thoughts, "We were the better team, we didn’t deserve to lose that game. Two moments cost us…if we play like that consistently we win more games than we lose."
As for team execution Lowry commented, "We were just a little naïve in 2 moments, I think the moment go the better of us initially…you take those two moments of the game and we were the better team and we are gonna win it. I can’t fault the players, they did everything possible to try and win the game. We had chances, we were going forward."
As for their opponent Lowry said, "OKC are probably the best team in our conference, based on depth, based on quality, based on the investment they bring to their squad. The feel like and are rightly so the best team in our conference. For us to go and like I said, be the better team and compete like that it sets up well moving forward."
Up next for the Locos will be a road match versus the Real Monarch SLC in Salt Lake City, Utah.