EL PASO, Texas – Eder Borelli scored his first goal for El Paso Locomotive FC to earn the hosts a 1-0 win against Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday night at Southwest University Park and a four-point lead over New Mexico United at the top of the Group C standings. Locomotive FC and New Mexico square off next Saturday night in El Paso.
While eliminated from postseason contention, the Monarchs came out brightly and had the first good look at goal in the 16th minute when Zack Farnsworth had a shot just go wide of the near post as he fired from the left side of the penalty area. Locomotive FC also threatened five minutes later as Josue Aaron Gomez hit a first-time shot just wide of the left post after a low cross by Omar Salgado from the left found him in the right side of the penalty area.
Salgado also had an effort that went wide of the mark just past the half-hour mark, but in first-half stoppage time the breakthrough arrived for the hosts as the side held possession in the attacking third, setting up a floated cross from the right channel by Memo Diaz toward the left side of the penalty area that found Borelli for a headed finish into the right corner of the net.
The second half saw relatively few chances, but Locomotive FC almost added to its lead in the 63rd minute when Salgado fired a low cross through the top of the six-yard area that went just behind his targets and was smuggled behind for a corner by the Monarchs defense. Salgado also produced a cross that almost hit the top of the crossbar that Monarchs goalkeeper David Ochoa didn’t handle cleanly, but Richie Ryan’s attempt to follow up went high over the bar.
The Monarchs were unable to muster a late chance at an equalizer, however, as Locomotive FC made it five wins in a row to take a potentially decisive edge in the race for first place in the group.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Eder Borelli, El Paso Locomotive FC – Borello scored the only goal of the game, recorded one key pass and completed 22 of 30 passes overall in a solid display that lasted just under an hour.