Forward Leandro Carrijo (lf) celebrates his last second, game-tying goal with teammate Yuma (rt) | Photo courtesy El Paso Locomotive FC
El Paso Locomotive FC hosted New Mexico United at Southwest University Park on Saturday night, stealing a point at the death of the match through a second-half stoppage goal by Forward Leandro Carrijo.
Forwards Luis ‘Lucho’ Solignac and Aidan Apodaca as well as Midfielder Diego Luna made their debuts for Locomotive.
“We haven’t played a game in the first weeks,” stated Head Coach Mark Lowry. “New Mexico has been playing with a Phoenix friendly and an RGV regular-season game. We’ve been sitting at home waiting around, so I thought the guys did a great job. The resilience and the toughness of the group was fantastic. They only had one chance to score, and they scored it. We had three or four chances, better opportunities in the final third, that on another day we probably score, and they go in and the game looks different.”
What started off as a tense back and forth for both sides in the first half, quickly turned into the usual heated rivalry by the second half.
Both sides opened the match testing each other’s defense as Forward Aaron Gomez rifled a shot down the middle to force United goalkeeper Alex Tambakis into a big save.
Meanwhile, Amando Moreno tried to sneak past Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer but came up short as Ketterer protected the net.
The stalemate came to a quick end through New Mexico United’s Devon Sandoval who cleaned an open goal in the 57th minute. Locomotive kicked their game into high gear, making strong work of their chances with attempts that would sail just wide.
Coach Lowry breathed new life into the match with late-game substitutions that ultimately led to the youngest Locomotive debut, Luna, to cross the ball to Gomez, who headed it back into the path of Carrijo in the final minute for the equalizing goal.
Up next, El Paso Locomotive takes a bye week for its second week in USL Championship, returning to action on Saturday, May 22 at Southwest University Park against Rio Grande Valley FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. MT with tickets available online or by calling 915-235-GOAL.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
NM: Devon Sandoval (Harry Swartz), 57th minute: Off a quick counter, Harry Swartz brought the ball in down the left-wing, where Logan Ketterer rushed out to meet him just on the other side of the six-yard-line. Swartz used the opportunity to send the pass into the path of Sandoval, who cleaned up the open goal to put United in a second-half lead.
ELP: Leandro Carrijo (Aaron Gomez, Diego Luna), 95th minute: With his quick feet, Diego Luna out dribbled the United defenders to open himself up for a cross to the far post, finding the head of Aaron Gomez, who redirected to the center of the box into the path of Carrijo. Carrijo took the shot on the first touch, tucking the equalizing goal into the bottom corner.
– Locomotive kicked off its third season in USL Championship, hosting its Southwest rival, New Mexico United, playing to a draw with a goal apiece to open the season.
– New faces debuted for El Paso Locomotive FC with FW Luis Solignac making an appearance in the Starting XI playing for 78 minutes while Diego Luna and Aidan Apodaca made their debuts as subs in the 78th and 63rd minute respectively.
– Diego Luna made his professional debut as the youngest player to play in Locomotive’s history, making an immediate impact with a near goal shortly after subbing in.
Match: El Paso Locomotive FC vs New Mexico United | Date: May 8, 2021 | Venue: Southwest University Park | Weather: 83F; Clear Skies
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
El Paso Locomotive FC 0 1 1
New Mexico United 0 1 1
NM: Devon Sandoval (Harry Swartz), 57’
ELP: Leandro Carrijo (Aaron Gomez, Diego Luna), 90’+5
El Paso Locomotive FC (4-4-2): Logan Ketterer; Eder Borelli, Yuma, Mechack Jerome, Macauley King (Aidan Apodaca, 63’), Richie Ryan (Diego Luna, 78’), Nick Ross, Bryam Rebellon, Dylan Mares, Luis Solignac (Leandro Carrijo, 78’), Aaron Gomez
Subs not used: Marco Canales, Chapa Herrera, Jose Aguinaga, Matt Bahner
New Mexico United (4-4-2): Alex Tambakis; Kalen Ryden, Sam Hamilton, Daniel Bruce (Josh Suggs, 65’), Juan Guzmán (Michael Azira, 73’), Harry Swartz, Austin Yearwood, Sergio Rivas, Devon Sandoval, Isidro Martinez (Andrew Tinari, 65’), Amando Moreno (Ilija Ilic, 84’)
Subs not used: Rashid Tetteh, Philipp Beigl, Justin Schmidt
Stats Summary: ELP|NM
Shots: 10 | 0
Shots on Goal: 4 | 7
Saves: 0 | 0
Corner Kicks: 2 | 1
Fouls: 16 | 19
Offside: 1 | 3
ELP – Yuma (Caution), 7’
ELP – Bryam Rebellon (Caution), 26’
NM – Juan Guzmán (Caution), 66’
ELP – Dylan Mares (Caution), 75’
NM – Devon Sandoval (Caution), 87’
NM – Josh Suggs (Caution), 90’+2