IRVINE, California (KTSM) – El Paso Locomotive FC saw its 2023 season come to an end after it suffered a 1-0 loss to Orange County SC in the Western Conference quarterfinals round of the USL Championship playoffs on Saturday night.
Orange County SC’s goal came in’ stoppage time ’45+1. Milan Iloski scored off of a free kick just outside the box. That gave Orange County SC a 1-0 lead over the Locos heading into halftime.
Int the second half, the Locos were unable to get a goal to equalize the game. Locos finished the match with four total shots and none of them were on target. Meanwhile, Orange County SC had 14 total shots, six of them on target, and had 55.2% possession in the match.
El Paso Locomotive FC had a pair of fantastic saves to keep the Locos’ deficit down to one goal in the second half.
It was a very eventful night for Diaz. In stoppage time (’90+3), Diaz left his net and went into Orange County SC’s box for a Locomotive FC corner kick. The Locos got nothing out of the corner kick and were left with a wide-open net. While making his recovery run, Diaz had an unsuccessful slide tackle on Iloski and was given a red card after the play which led to his ejection from the match.
Orange County SC would take up most of the possession in stoppage time which resulted in the Locos-not having one more attacking chance.
Orange County SC secured a 1-0 win over El Paso Locomotive FC to advance to the Western Conference semi-finals round to play San Antonio FC.
As for El Paso Locomotive FC, the club saw its season come to an end in the first round of the playoffs. The first year of the Brian Clarhaut era had its ups and downs on the pitch but the club still reached its goal of returning to the playoffs this year. This was the Locos’ first playoff appearance in two years. The Locos finished the 2023 season with a 13-13-8 overall record and finished seventh place in the Western Conference standings.