Phoenix, AZ (KTSM) – For the second consecutive season, El Paso Locomotive FC has been eliminated in the USL Championship Playoffs in the Western Conference Final. El Paso falling to Phoenix Rising FC 4-2 in a penalty shootout after ending regulation level at 1-1.
Midfielder Bryam Rebellón forced extra time, scoring the equalizer in the 59th minute, while forward Leandro Carrijo and midfielder Richie Ryan converted the two Locomotive penalties in a heartbreaking defeat.
Rising’s Jordan Schweitzer scored the opening goal in the 18th minute, hitting the underside of the crossbar to bounce over the line and past an outstretched Logan Ketterer.
Mirroring the first half, Locomotive controlled the game with possession and passing, while Gómez continued to try and find his first elusive goal of the playoffs, but was denied time and time again. While Gómez was unable to beat the keeper, the Locomotive pressure paid off just before the hour mark as Rebellón lasered in a shot to the far post off a light pass from Carrijo.
Locomotive and Rising entered extra time with a goal apiece as Phoenix dominated the opening moments with near shots that ended wide of the net. The chippy battle continued with both teams being shown yellow cards, though neither side was able to find the advantage, resulting in a third straight penalty shootout for Locomotive in the playoffs. While Carrijo and Ryan were able to find the back of the net, Nick Ross and Gómez were not, thus ending their season.
In what was an unprecedented, shortened-season in the USL Championship due to COVID-19, the stat that should not go unnoticed for Locomotive FC is zero — as is zero positive cases of the virus.
Under the direction of head coach Mark Lowry and general manager Andrew Forrest, El Paso will now look forward to the 2021 season.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
PHX: Jordan Schweitzer (Santi Moar), 18th minute: While Santi Moar was shut down by the Locomotive defense, a quick pass back towards Schweitzer finds an opening towards goal from distance. Schweitzer takes the shot, deflecting off the bottom of the crossbar to fall over the line and open the scoring for Phoenix Rising FC.
ELP: Bryam Rebellón (Leandro Carrijo), 59th minute: With no pressure on the left side, Eder Borelli sent a cross into the center box looking for Leandro Carrijo. Carrijo, covered by Rising FC defenders, lightly tapped the ball into the path of Rebellón, who rifled the shot into the far post to equalize the scoring.
ELP: Leandro Carrijo, Richie Ryan
PHX: Jon Bakero, Corey Whelan, Joseph Farrell, Santi Moar
– Locomotive makes its second straight appearance in the Western Conference Final, marking only the third team since 2015 to do so in the first two years of existence.
– For the third straight match in the 2020 USL Championship playoffs, Locomotive went to extra time after ending level after 90 minutes of play, resulting in a third consecutive penalty shootout.
– Locomotive FC closed out its second campaign through the USL Championship, having made the incredible feat of reaching the Western Conference Final for the second straight year.
Match: El Paso Locomotive FC at Phoenix Rising FC
Date: October 24, 2020
Venue: Casino Arizona Field; Scottsdale, Arizona
Weather: 77F; partly cloudy
Scoring Summary 1 2 AET F SO
El Paso Locomotive FC 0 1 0 1 2
Phoenix Rising FC 1 0 0 1 4
PHX: Jordan Schweitzer (Santi Moar), 18’
ELP: Bryam Rebellón (Leandro Carrijo), 59’
El Paso Locomotive FC (4-3-2-1): Logan Ketterer; Mechack Jerome, Macauley King (Memo Diaz, 99’), Yuma, Eder Borelli (Moses Makinde, 123’) Chapa Herrera (Nick Ross,65’), Richie Ryan, Bryam Rebellón, Dylan Mares, Aaron Gómez, Leandro Carrijó
Subs not used: Jermaine Fordah, Andrew Fox, Matt Bahner, Saeed Robinson,
Phoenix Rising FC (4-4-2): Zac Lubin; Darnell King, Damion Lowe, Joe Farrell, Corey Whelan, Kevon Kambert (Owusu-Ansah Kontor, 124’), Jordan Schweitzer (Jon Bakero, 70’), Sam Stanton (Joey Calistri, 105’), Santi Moar, Solomon Asante, Rufat Dadashov
Subs not used: Eric Dick, A.J. Cochran, José Aguinaga, Lagos Kunga
Stats Summary: ELP/PHX
Shots: 15 / 20
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 18 / 15
Offside: 2 / 2
ELP – Yuma (Caution), 4’
ELP – Macca King (Caution), 54’
ELP – Bryam Rebellón (Caution), 94’
PHX – Joseph Farrell (Caution), 95’
ELP – Chapa Herrera (Caution), 105’+2
ELP – Memo Diaz (Caution), 107’
PHX – Solomon Asante (Caution), 108’
ELP – Richie Ryan (Caution), 108’
ELP – Leandro Carrijo (Caution), 111’
PHX – Damion Lowe (Caution), 113’