El Paso Locomotive FC suffered another home loss Saturday night, falling to the Oakland Roots SC by the score of 3-1 at Southwest University. The defeat came despite El Paso performing one of its best opening 45 minutes of the entire season.

Locomotive took the lead early in the second half, but it was short lived as the team from northern California came roaring back with three unanswered goals to get their eighth win of the season.

Despite the loss, El Paso remained in third place in the western conference of the USL Championship. Both teams ahead of the Locos in the table also lost. San Antonio fell to Miami at home (1-0) and Sacramento lost to New Mexico United (3-0) in the “Land of Enchantment”.

Here’s what happened

  • El Paso took less than five minutes to produce their first real threat on goal when Josue Aaron Gomez took a lethal left footed strike from just outside the small goal box and hit the left post. No luck for the Locos early in this one. 
  • In the span of two minutes Locomotive goalkeeper Benny Diaz made an impressive save to keep the match scoreless. Then in the ensuing sequence Mark Navarro took a right footed strike that was heading to the right upper corner only to be saved by Roots goalkeeper Paul Blanchette also in spectacular fashion.
  • El Paso scored to open the scoreline only three minutes into the second half when Petar Petrovic shook off a couple of defenders down the left flank, took a strike and was deflected into the back of the net by Emra Klimenta for the Locos to take a 1-0 lead. 
  • Oakland took the lead in the span of four minutes scoring in the 65th and 69th minutes of play. Lindo Mfeka got the equalizer, while Johnny Rodriguez scored the second goal off of a header from a corner kick. 
  • The third goal that put the match away for the visiting Roots came from the right foot of Anuar Pelaez in the 85th minute.     

What was said

After the match a disappointed Brian Clarhaut spoke with the media. The Locomotive head coach and technical director said, “ We scored a goal and the tactical discipline went (out the window). I take some of the responsibility on that. I needed to make sure we have consistency in both halves, it’s an area we can criticize throughout the season. We let in a bad first goal in an area that they were targeting, then a goal off a corner kick immediately after taking the sting out of us.” 

Clarhaut continued, “In the first half I think we created a lot of chances, enough to win the game. It's a consistent theme with us right now, we’re not finishing our chances. I would like to see us up 2-0 at times and we’re not doing that.”

What’s next

Up next will for El Paso will be the always tough road trip to the Rio Grande Valley to face the RGVFC Toros. The Toros will be coming off of a bye week. These two teams faced each other only two weekends ago, playing to a 1-1 draw in downtown El Paso. The match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. MST kickoff. As always the match will be televised via streaming on ESPN+.  

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