EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – We have seen this story before. El Paso Locomotive FC took a 2-1 lead into the locker room at halftime in Wednesday night’s game against rival New Mexico United, but Los Locos could not hold onto the lead as United would strike late — the match ending in a 2-2 draw.
El Paso earns one point and remains atop the ‘Group C’ standings, but there was more left to be desired.
“The guys are angry right now, which is good. My office is in-between the two locker rooms and there’s music in their [New Mexico United] locker room,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “There’s a lot of singing and happy voices. Our locker room is dead quiet. There is disappointment there and we know we left something on the field today.”
Locomotive FC has yet to defeat United in their short history, going 0-1-2 in three matches against their rivals from Albuquerque.
“These games are extremely important. For both teams, every single point counts. They are all a final to us,” said forward Omar Salgado who was making his 2020 debut after serving a two-match suspension to start the season. “That’s how we look at it and we are here to win every single game. That’s the end goal. We want to win and get those three points.”
The match began with some sloppy play from the Locomotive FC back line. El Paso gifted New Mexico an early goal when Chris Wehan took advantage of a Locomotive FC turnover in the box in the 11th minute to give United a 1-0 lead.
Salgado got El Paso on the board in the 43rd minute when he snuck behind the defense and beat the keeper for the equalizer. It was Salgado’s first goal of the season. Locomotive FC would strike again in stoppage time when Andrew Fox found himself in the right place at the right time off the corner kick for his first goal of the season. El Paso took a 2-1 lead into the half.
El Paso is built to play with a lead, but New Mexico can strike at any point in a match and they got some help in the 76th minute. Defenseman Drew Beckie was called for a penalty in the box and Devon Sandoval hammered home the penalty kick.
Locomotive FC remains unbeaten this season at 1-0-2 (5 points), one point ahead of United in the standings. El Paso’s next match will come against United in a rematch on Friday, July 24.