EL PASO, Texas – Luis Solignac scored a pair of second-half goals as El Paso Locomotive FC took a 3-1 victory against FC Tulsa on Wednesday night at Southwest University Park to earn its first consecutive wins this season after the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the first half.
The hosts created the first good look at goal in the fifth minute when United States U-20 Men’s National Team player Diego Luna had a long-range effort saved by Tulsa’s Sean Lewis, but the visitors took the lead three minutes later when Lebo Moloto’s free kick from the left found JJ Williams for a header at the back post that found the left corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season. Three minutes later, however, Locomotive FC hit back as Haiti international Christiano Francois’s chipped cross from the right found Dylan Mares for a strong header into the left corner of the net.
The early chances continued for El Paso, which almost grabbed the lead in the 14th minute as Solignac’s header to the right corner was well kept out by Lewis. After a quieter period of action, Tulsa was reduced to 10 men when Moloto was sent off after an altercation with El Paso’s Yuma. Mares went for his second goal of the night for the hosts early in the second half and had his effort from 16 yards parried away, but despite being down a man the visitors also threatened a minute later on a bicycle kick by Matheus Silva that was handled by El Paso’s Evan Newton.
El Paso continued to push for the lead with their man-advantage and might have taken the lead in the 59th minute when a Ronald Rodriguez’s challenge to deny a chance for Ricardo Zacarias saw the ball redirect to Mares, whose shot deflected off Zacarias’ prone body and over the crossbar. Locomotive FC broke through five minutes later, though, as Josue Aaron Gomez kept a play alive after an initial cross by Francois had been half-cleared, and his cross was turned home by Solignac just inside the left post. Francois then had a chance to put the game away with seven minutes to go as his shot from a narrow angle on the right was saved by Lewis, but with a minute remaining Solignac put away his second of the night – and fourth in the past two outings – to seal the victory for the hosts.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Dylan Mares, El Paso Locomotive FC – Mares had a goal and assist for the hosts and had four shots and three chances created overall while completing 46 of 52 passes to lead his side to victory.
TUL – JJ Williams (Lebo Moloto) 8’
ELP – Dylan Mares (Christiano Francois) 11’
ELP – Luis Solignac (Josue Aaron Gomez) 64’
ELP – Luis Solignac (Dylan Mares) 89’