EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – New Mexico United (2-1-1, 7 points) just seems to have El Paso Locomotive FC’s (1-1-2, 5 points) number. United jumped out to an early 2-0 lead at halftime on a rainy Friday night at Southwest University Park and would not look back, defeating Locomotive FC 2-1 to jump El Paso in the standings for first place.
With the win, United improves to 2-0-2 all-time against Locomotive FC, coming away with four points in nine days in El Paso.
Locomotive FC started the match strong with a couple different scoring chances, but could not capitalize with a goal. United would strike first in the 35th minute when Chris Wehan found the back of the net off a set piece. New Mexico would add to their lead in stoppage time with Devon Sandoval beat Locomotive FC goalkeeper Logan Ketterer near side just before the final whistle in the first half.
El Paso would finally get on the board in the 86th minute when Aaron Gomez scored his first goal of the season off a penalty kick, but it was too little too late.
“It was a much better start than the previous start in last week’s game against them. We just should have been up 1-0 after 10 minutes,” said Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry. “We had chances, we had some opportunities and didn’t capitalize on them. Then we had an injury, momentum changed, they get a free kick that wasn’t a free kick, and then they scored on a set piece. We hate to see the set pieces. They had two shots and they scored two goals. That’s the difference.”
The loss drops El Paso to second place in Group C, two points behind New Mexico. Locomotive FC will hit the road for the first time since the USL Championship re-start next week in a match against Phoenix Rising FC at Casino Arizona Field in Tempe, Arizona, on Aug. 1.