AUSTIN, Texas – 17-year-old Diego Luna marked his first professional start with his first professional goal, which proved the difference as El Paso Locomotive FC took a 1-0 victory against Austin Bold FC on Thursday night at Bold Stadium for its second win of the season.
The first chance of the game went to the hosts as a free kick from the left was half-cleared to Bold FC midfielder Xavi Baez, whose shot from 25 yards took a slight deflection through a crowd of players but was still comfortably handled by El Paso goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas. Overall, though, chances proved few before the break, with El Paso’s first look at goal also coming off a set piece as Diego Luna’s corner kick from the right was flicked across goal but wide of the left post by Bryam Rebellon.
The sides went to the break scoreless, but Locomotive FC found the breakthrough 11 minutes into the second half. El Paso controlled possession just inside the attacking half and sent the ball wide to Macauley King, who cut inside to deliver a left-footed cross to the back post where Luna was on hand to head home unmarked from the top-left corner of the six-yard area.
Austin looked to respond, and an ambitious effort by Collin Fernandez with a chipped shot from the left aiming for the top-right corner was tipped behind by Zendejas with nine minutes to go. From the ensuing corner, Omar Gordon got on the end of Juan Torres’ delivery after a quickly taken restart to the top-right corner of the penalty area but couldn’t send his header on target as it slid wide of the left post.
El Paso’s Leandro Carrijo found the net again for the visitors with two minutes to go, only for the flag to be raised for offside, but Locomotive FC would not need an insurance goal as it continued its undefeated start to the season and moved into third place in the Mountain Division.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Diego Luna, El Paso Locomotive FC – Luna put home his first professional goal in a solid all-around performance that saw him complete 24 of 30 passes, win 5 of 6 duels and win 2 of 3 tackles.
ELP – Diego Luna (Macauley King) 56’