(Courtesy: El Paso Locomotive FC)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania - El Paso Locomotive (4-6-1, 13 points, West-9) fell to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 1-0, at Highmark Stadium in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.
Midfielder and El Paso Locomotive Youth Academy player Joel Maldonado made his professional debut as a substitute in stoppage time in the second half.
The first match between Pittsburgh and El Paso kicked off to a quiet start despite an early look from the Riverhounds taking shot down the middle into Goalkeeper Evan Newton’s hands.
Locomotive began dominating control of the game, nearly finding the opening goal in 25th minute with a shot from Forward Aaron Gomez that was rifled on frame only to find Riverhounds ‘keeper Kevin Silva in the right place.
The back and forth continued past the half hour mark as Newton made two incredible back-to-back saves to stop a Riverhounds corner opportunity.
The goalkeeping showcase in the first half kept the game as a stalemate up through to the second half.
Straight out of the gates in the 46th minute, Pittsburgh’s Russell Cicerone broke the stalemate with an impossible to save shot from inside the box.
Following the goal to open the second half, the second half mirrored the first, with neither side truly testing either goalkeeper.
In a possession tug-of-war, the two sides defensively stood up to shut down any potential attack before it could happen.
Locomotive earned an opportunity to equalize through a penalty kick from Forward Lucho Solignac but Silva read it correctly to make the save.
While Locomotive rushed to keep the attacking play up, a goal wouldn’t come for El Paso, ending the match in favor of Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
UP NEXT: El Paso Locomotive returns to Southwest University Park to host Sacramento Republic SC on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. MT.
The first 1,500 fans to enter the stadium when gates open at 6:00 p.m. MT will receive a Vamos El Paso t-shirt. Tickets are available for purchase online at eplocomotivefc.com/tickets or by calling 915-235-GOAL.