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GAMEDAY REPORT: Herrera Strikes Twice as El Paso Holds off Switchbacks

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 08/08/20, 11:32PM EDT

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Second-half goals prove key as Colorado Springs rally comes too late to overcome deficit

EL PASO, Texas – Chapa Herrera notched a pair of second-half goals to establish a comfortable lead for El Paso Locomotive FC that proved necessary in a 4-2 victory against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Southwest University Park on Saturday night.

Aiming to snap a two-game losing streak, Locomotive FC got an ideal start in the 15th minute when it was awarded a free kick just left of center 20 yards from goal. Dylan Mares stepped up and curled his shot into the far-right corner of the net past the dive of Switchbacks goalkeeper Sean Melvin. Six minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead as Switchbacks defender Kris Reaves missed on a clearance and gave Josue Aaron Gomez a clear look at goal that he took with a finish to the bottom-right corner of the net.

The hosts took their two-goal advantage to the halftime break as Colorado Springs couldn’t find many good looks at goal in response. Then in the 66th minute a give-and-go between El Paso’s Nick Ross and Gomez played Ross into the right side of the penalty area, and he cut back a low cross to Herrera, whose first-time finish found the bottom-left corner of the net.

Locomotive FC almost added a fourth a minute later as Omar Salgado won the race to a ball into the penalty area that took Melvin out of position, but when Salgado’s deflected cross came to Gomez his header toward the net was cleared off the line by Colorado Springs’ Jordan Burt.

In the 68th minute, however, Herrera would get his second of the night and Locomotive FC’s fourth of the game as Salgado held up play on the left side to wait for support and then delivered a low cross through the top of the six-yard area for his fellow El Pasoan to finish off.

The Switchbacks had a chance to pull a goal back with 12 minutes to go as Mamadi Camara cut a low cross back from the right side of the penalty area for Austin Dewing, but his first-time finish was palmed away by Locomotive FC goalkeeper Logan Ketterer. Five minutes later the Switchbacks would find the net as Uvaldo Luna put away a sharp low finish to the right corner from the left side of the penalty area.

Luna added a second goal in stoppage time with another good turning finish from 16 yards that found the bottom-left corner of the net. Despite other late chances, including a goal ruled out for offside, two goals would be as close as the visitors would get as El Paso saw out an important victory for its postseason hopes.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Chapa Herrera, El Paso Locomotive FC – Herrera popped up to score a pair of important goals and was also smooth in midfield, completing 35 of 37 passes and making six recoveries.

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