El Paso Locomotive (7-6-3, 24 points, West-4) claimed its first win over Phoenix Rising FC with a 1-0 score on Saturday night. Forward Aaron Gomez scored the lone Locos goal, converting a penalty kick in the 71st minute.
Story Via El Paso Locomotive
The first contest between El Paso Locomotive FC and Phoenix Rising FC since 2020 featured an intense battle in the midfield. Both teams employed an aggressive high press, trying to catch one another on the transition. Locomotive’s press in the first half opened Gomez for a few chances. In the 11th minute his shot found the back of the net but was flagged offside before again he nearly opened the scoring with a tight shot going wide in the 28th minute. Midfielder Dylan Mares found an opportunity just past the half hour mark, striking the post. On the other end, Phoenix Rising chances sailed wide with the exception of an incredible save made by Goalkeeper Evan Newton, deflecting a close range shot by Joseph Farrell.
Phoenix Rising sped out of the halftime break, quickly testing the Locomotive backline. Ultimately, the center back pairing of Yuma and Andrew Fox had the answers to stop Rising from testing Newton further. The match took a turn as the stalemate broke just shy of the 70th minute. Gomez was brought down in the box, resulting in Rising’s Manuel Madrid earning a red card. Gomez coolly converted the resulting penalty kick in the 71st minute, providing Locomotive the lead. Locos stood firm defensively for the remaining 20 minutes, securing three points at Phoenix Rising Soccer Stadium.
UP NEXT: El Paso Locomotive goes east for its first trip to Keyworth Stadium to play USL Championship newcomers, Detroit City FC. Kickoff is set for Saturday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. MT and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN as the first USL Championship regular season game to show on ESPN.