EL PASO, Texas – Leandro Carrijo scored deep in second-half stoppage time to earn El Paso Locomotive FC a 1-1 draw against rival New Mexico United on Saturday night at Southwest University Park. New Mexico had taken a second-half lead through Devon Sandoval before El Paso’s late answer.
The visitors had threatened first in the eighth minutes after being awarded a free kick 35 yards from goal that Isidro Martinez delivered nicely for Kalen Ryden in the left side of the penalty area, only for his header to go wide of the right post. Three minutes later it was Locomotive FC’s turn as a giveaway came to Josue Aaron Gomez for a shot 25 yards from goal that was saved by New Mexico’s Alex Tambakis.
Both sides had other chances in the remainder of the first half, but nothing that seriously challenged either goalkeeper as the game remained scoreless. Twelve minutes after the break, however, New Mexico struck first as Ryden produced a piercing ball from his own half into the left channel for an onrushing Harry Swartz. As Locomotive FC goalkeeper Logan Ketterer came off his line to challenge, Swartz quickly centered, allowing Devon Sandoval to finish into the vacant net.
Sandoval almost added a second with 14 minutes to go with a fierce turning shot to the right corner that Ketterer handled sharply to gather, keeping his side within a goal. That almost proved crucial with 10 minutes to go as 17-year-old Diego Luna almost made an immediate impact after coming on for his professional debut, playing a give-and-go with Carrijo into the left side of the penalty area before being denied by Tambakis.
With the last gasp, however, El Paso found its leveler. A cross from the left by Luna found Gomez and the back post, and his cushioned header toward the top of the six-yard area was volleyed home by Carrijo with the final chance of the contest.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Harry Swartz, New Mexico United – Swartz provided the assist on United’s goal and was sharp all night, completing 24 of 27 passes and winning 9 of 12 duels while recording five recoveries.
NM – Devon Sandoval (Harry Swartz) 57’
ELP – Leandro Carrijo (Josue Aaron Gomez) 90+5’