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El Paso Locomotive continue winning record with two-goal victory against San Antonio

El Paso Times logo El Paso Times 8/5/2021 Bret Bloomquist, El Paso Times
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As good as the El Paso Locomotive have been in their run to the top of the USL Championship, they don't always make winning look simple.

Locomotive FC players celebrate El Paso's second goal in the first half during their home game against San Antonio FC on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. El Paso won 2-0. © Nathan J Fish/Sun-News Locomotive FC players celebrate El Paso's second goal in the first half during their home game against San Antonio FC on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. El Paso won 2-0.

In a 2-0 victory against San Antonio, they did.

For the first time in 15 largely successful games (they are now 10-1-4), the Locos took a two-goal lead to halftime and saw it off in routine fashion. They did it despite going a man down in the 79th minute to stay unbeaten in 17 home games now spanning 54 weeks.

a man holding a football ball: Locomotive FC forward Jose Aguinaga celebrates El Paso's second goal in the first half during their home game against San Antonio FC on Wednesday, August 4, 2021. © Omar Ornelas/ El Paso Times Locomotive FC forward Jose Aguinaga celebrates El Paso's second goal in the first half during their home game against San Antonio FC on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

In the process, El Paso stayed six points clear of second-place Rio Grande Valley in the Mountain Division with a game in hand.

Diego Luna and Jose Aguinaga scored the goals for El Paso.

What they said

"We were in control for most of the game, but it wasn’t a great performance,” coach Mark Lowry said. “We didn’t really set the world alight, but we did enough. We were comfortable. We could have done more, and we should have done more.

"I want to see these games end three or four to zero. That's kind of where we are at right now. I’m happy with the three points but I think there is still more for us to do.”

El Paso strikes twice early

The Locomotive needed almost a half hour to get on the board, but a 29th-minute goal from Luna, his fifth of the year, and a header from Aguinaga two minutes into first-half stoppage time put El Paso in command by the half.

Luna's came on a length-of-field build-up and ended with a give-and-go between him and Dylan Mares. Luna slid the ball to him at the top of the 18-yard box, charged past him and was in space for the return pass. Luna buried it to the short side as El Paso scored first for the ninth time in 15 games.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Locomotive FC, the player in blue uniform, hosted San Antonio FC on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. El Paso won 2-0. © Omar Ornelas/USA Today Network Locomotive FC, the player in blue uniform, hosted San Antonio FC on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. El Paso won 2-0.

That was part of a stretch where El Paso was dominant, though that moment seemed to pass before the Locomotive doubled the lead against the run of play.

Eder Borelli sent a ball into reigning USL player of the week Luis Solignac. Solignac's first touch was heavy, but he raced to the end line and flicked the bouncing ball back behind him into the middle of the box and right to Aguinaga.

His header put El Paso up 2-0.

Taking care of business

A hiccup did come in the 77th minute when second-half sub Bryam Rebellon picked up his second yellow card in nine minutes, putting El Paso a man down, but they quickly steadied themselves.

San Antonio managed one shot on goal, an ineffectual slow roller from no angle in the first minute. They had half of possession but their only half-chance hit the side of the net in the 70th minute.

El Paso didn't finish as many of their chances as they would have liked, but scored the two they needed.

Up next

El Paso plays its fifth game in 14 days when it hosts Austin Bold at 7:30 Saturday night.

The Locomotive are looking to run their home unbeaten streak to 54 weeks.

Bret Bloomquist can be reached at 915-546-6359; bbloomquist@elpasotimes.com; @Bretbloomquist on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: El Paso Locomotive continue winning record with two-goal victory against San Antonio

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