Expansion sides Austin Bold FC and El Paso Locomotive FC will have to wait a little longer to clinch their first trips to the postseason after the Copa Tejas rivals played to a 1-1 draw on Thursday night at Southwest University Park to move within a point of a place in the USL Championship Playoffs.
EL PASO, Texas – Bold FC and Locomotive FC moved within a point of reaching the USL Championship Playoffs after battling to a draw at Southwest University Park. The two sides failed to create a lot of chances in a physical first half that saw more yellow cards (3) than shots on target (2), but it was the hosts that came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes as Jerome Kiesewetter ran onto Nick Ross’ through ball on the left side of the box and forced Austin goalkeeper Diego Restrepo into a low save at his near post with a tight-angled shot. Bold FC generated its first quality look at goal from a corner kick just shy of the hour-mark when Andre Lima rose up in the center of the box to get on the end of Josue Soto’s delivery, but Locomotive FC goalkeeper Logan Ketterer reacted quickly to get two hands behind the forward’s header and the El Paso defense cleared the rebound to safety. The hosts were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Austin defender Sean McFarlane was ruled to have fouled Kiesewetter in the penalty area and Sebastian Velasquez sent Restrepo the wrong way from 12 yards out to give his side the lead in the 76th minute. The visitors needed just five minutes to find an equalizer as McFarlane delivered an inch-perfect cross from the right wing and Lima provided a lefty side-foot finish past a helpless Ketterer into the bottom-right corner to set up a potentially dramatic finish. However, the two teams failed to record shot on target over the final nine minutes plus stoppage time and were forced to settle for a point.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Sebastian Velasquez, El Paso Locomotive FC – Velasquez scored Locomotive FC’s lone goal from the penalty spot, completed 83 percent of his passes and 6 of 7 dribbles while also winning 11 of 14 duels to help his side move within a point of the postseason.