Locomotive score late to gain victory over New Mexico United 3-2

El+Paso+Locomotive+defender+Andrew+Fox+and+teammates+celebrate+as+another+goal+goes+into+the+United+net+Saturday+Sept.+5.

Marie Salette Ontiveros

El Paso Locomotive defender Andrew Fox and teammates celebrate as another goal goes into the United net Saturday Sept. 5.

Heriberto Perez, Reporter

The El Paso Locomotive (5-2-3) beat New Mexico United (6-3-2) 3-2 with a goal in the 88th minute to secure its first win over the group leader this season. For the second game in a row, the Locomotive played in front of fans, increasing allowed home attendance to 1,519 people inside of the Southwest University Park.  

With a very offensive-minded game featuring five goals, the scoring started at the 13-minute when United forward Amando Moreno, on an assist from midfielder David Estrada scored on a great individual play to take the initial lead.  

At the 25-minute mark El Paso midfielder Dylan Mares found midfielder Macauley King after a corner kick to tie the game. Unfortunately, King, just before the end of the half, committed a foul which led to a penalty kick goal from United forward Devon Sandavol at the 40-minute mark to take a 2-1 lead. 

It was not until the 60-minute mark when the Locomotive tied the match again with a great cross inside of the box by forward Omar Salgado landing a shot off United goalkeeper Austin Yearwood that resulted in a score. 

As the game was winding down, the Locomotive continued to put pressure on New Mexico deep in its territory. At the 88-minute mark, the aggressive play by the Locomotive paid off with a score by Mares on a vital assist from Salgado that gave El Paso the lead for good. 

For the first time in five games, the Locomotive were able to gain a victory over New Mexico with previous matches ending in two losses and two ties  

“We wanted to win; I think this game was a very good game for all of us,” Mares said after the game. “We knew what we needed to do, going out at the game and show that we wanted it more,” he added. 

The Locomotive lost the possession battle for the night, with 49% compared to 51% for the United. El Paso did take over twice as many shots as New Mexico with 21 compared to eight. Overall neither team was very effective at landing shots on goal with both teams combining for only nine total shots on goal, with El Paso having four and New Mexico five.  

“Top two teams of the groups, you wanted to get that advantage on them,” Locomotive Head Coach Mark Lowry said. “We won the game in hand and we look strong to get into the first place of the group.” 

The Locomotive is now two points behind firstplace New Mexico with 18 points but with one less game played and are within striking distance of the group leader.  

El Paso next plays the Group D leader San Antonio FC (8-0-3) 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at Southwest University Park.  San Antonio is the only undefeated team in the United Soccer League and is tied for most points in the league. 

Heriberto Perez may be reached at [email protected]