ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (KTSM) – Down a man and playing in a hostile environment, it simply didn’t matter for El Paso Locomotive FC.
El Paso stole a 1-1 draw from New Mexico United in the Derby del Camino Real on Saturday night with a goal in the 97th minute from defender Matt Bahner, his first since joining the club in 2020. Locomotive FC earned a point with the draw and ran its unbeaten streak to nine matches.
El Paso is also unbeaten against United since July 24, 2020, and closes out the 2021 regular season series with New Mexico with a win and a trio of draws.
“It feels good not to lose,” said Head Coach Mark Lowry. “We didn’t win. I’m disappointed that we didn’t win. The first half was not great and in the second half, we were unbelievable. We deserved the point. We hit the post twice. We did everything we could, but we didn’t win so I’m not super ecstatic but it feels like a win with the way it happened.”
New Mexico United took a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a 33rd minute strike from Amando Moreno. In the 76th minute, midfielder Diego Luna got into a scuffle with multiple United players and a flying elbow from Luna earned him a straight red card, forcing Locomotive to play the final 20 minutes of the match down a man.
Despite the disadvantage, Locomotive continued to push for a goal. Aaron Gomez, Leandro Carrijo and Lucho Solignac all had fantastic chances to equalize, but were unable to do so.
That all changed in the 97th minute. After El Paso earned a corner kick, Richie Ryan sent a cross into the box that found the feet of goalkeeper Logan Ketterer, who had made his way up from his position in the El Paso goal.
Ketterer moved the ball over to Bahner in the box, who hammered home the equalizer off a deflection, silencing a delirious United crowd and sending them home disappointed.
Bahner took off his jersey in celebration, pantomiming a baseball home run swing.
The goal is the first El Paso has ever scored at Isotopes Park and came in the most dramatic of fashions. With the draw, Los Locos are 10 points clear of Colorado Springs and Rio Grande Valley for first place in the USL Championship’s Western Conference Mountain Division. Their 38 points currently has them in first place in the West, second overall in the league.
El Paso still has just one loss on the season, coming in late June at RGV FC. They’ll look to avenge that defeat at Southwest University Park next Saturday, Aug. 21, at 7:30 p.m. vs Rio Grande Valley.