Despite spurts of greatness that surpassed their recent losses, Austin FC was unable to tab their first win against LAFC in a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday night.
Austin's first loss in the post-Houston era, in which they secured their spot at last in the West with a 3-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, was blissfully less eventful than the high-scoring losses of the last few weeks. The team seemed to flip the switch as Austin's Sebastian Driussi appeared to score in just the fourth minute of play, but the shot served only to rile up the crowd as the goal was called offsides.
Despite the scoreboard, Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said the team brought character and passion to the pitch that wasn't seen in Saturday's match.
"We talked candidly about (the Houston match)," Wolff said. "I think there was a little bit of that edginess that we needed and the energy and intensity that's required to play...winning isn't coming easy right now, and we've got to continue to grind and continue to push."
LAFC, which beat Austin FC for the club's first-ever regular season match in April, once again came out on top. The West Coast giants found their groove in the 58th minute with the first goal of the match. Austin keeper Brad Stuver saw himself one-on-one with LAFC's Christian Arango in a rare penalty kick after a handball was called on Diego Fagundez in the box, and he was unable to pull off another trademark save as the ball gently sunk into the net.
From the VAR offsides call to the penalty kick, Wolff said the match's refereeing decisions were jarring but served to light a fire under the team.
"It's frustrating, but there's a lot to be proud of from the effort and our ability to to compete," Wolff said. "We grabbed the equalizer, grabbed momentum...I think the guys' reactions, intensity and attitude was pretty good."
The match was not all losses for Stuver, however: the star keeper notched his 100th save with a crowd-pleasing dive in the 24th minute of play.
Right back Nick Lima said the numbers reflect Stuver's contributions to the team.
"He's a leader on and off the field," Lima said. "He was a strength for us in the beginning of the year and continues to be, so it would be nice if we could give him back what he's done and get the results that we deserve...all the kudos that he gets he deserves, and it doesn't go unnoticed in the locker room."
Fagundez, too, found redemption in the match shortly after the fateful handball as he scored his sixth goal for the team, tying the game off a rebound in the 67th minute of play. The fan-favorite is once again Austin FC's top scorer.
But LAFC wasn't done in Austin. The away team's Danny Musovski snuck past the Verde defense in the 81st minute of play to score the club's second goal and clinch the match.
Austin FC is now 0-3 against LAFC but managed to score for the first time against the West Coasters in the Wednesday match. The team has now lost fie of their last six matches as they sunk further into last place and lose hope at a first-season playoff run.
The Verde and Black will gear up once again on Saturday as they take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. The teams last matched up on June 19 in a scoreless draw for Austin FC's energetic home opener.
82' LAFC retakes the lead
In a play that Cheatsheet's Kyle Dalton said symbolizes Austin FC's entire season, a fast break by Austin FC makes it past the goalies keeper, rallies up the crowd and sees Austin crowd the box, but the shot slowly rolls just out of bounds.
Minutes later, LAFC's Danny Musovski utilizes his speed to break past the Austin FC defense, and this attempt proves true as LAFC regainst the lead. Despite a VAR offsides review, the goal is given to LAFC and the away team goes up 2-1.
Austin scores on a rebound!
Just after LAFC's Kim Moon-Hwan fails to capitalize on a direct free kick, Austin FC bounced back with a goal of their own to tie up the match. While it was Cecilio Dominguez who made the first shot on goal, teammate Diego Fagundez was able to sink it into goal off a rebound to tie it 1-1. It's a great redemption for Fagundez after his handball and a new point of pride for Austin as they score against their first-match opponents for the first time.
58' LAFC scores on a PK
Looks like VAR is not on Austin FC's side tonight. In the 58th minute, a handball is called on Diego Fagundez in the penalty box as the ball hits his right arm. Stuck one-on-one for a rare penalty kick vs. Cristian Arango, keeper Brad Stuver can't predict the shot as it gently sinks into the bottom left corner. It's 1-0 LAFC with most of the second half to go.
46' Redes in for Stroud
It's been a blissfully uneventful first half for Austin FC after weeks of high-scoring losses, but the home team is still behind in scoring attempts. After Driussi's quick almost-goal was ruled offsides, Austin has made four shots to LAFC's 9, though both haven't had any shots on goal.
To add some spark to the offense, Wolff put winger Rodney Redes in for Stroud to kick off the second half. Redes will be looking for his long-awaited first MLS goal as Austin fights for their inaugural win against LAFC.
24' Stuv gets 100 saves!
Austin keeper Brad Stuver's trademark save in the 24th minute of play didn't just crank up cheers from the crowd and keep the score 0-0: he also reached 100 saves. Looks like his highlight-worthy saves this season continue to pay off.
4' Driussi tries to turn the tides
After Austin gave up a first minute goal on Saturday against the Dynamo, it seemed like ATXFC's Sebastian Driussi had flipped a switch with a goal of his own in the fourth minute of play. But the team's triumphant return to Q2 was short-lived: a VAR review ruled that Austin FC was offside. Still, that crowd-awakening shot may be what Austin needs to see intensity and drive return to the pitch.
Starting lineup released
No Poch, no problem? Head coach Josh Wolff has taken DP Tomas Pochettino off of both the starting lineup and bench tonight. No word has been had on a possible injury.
Meanwhile, winger Jared Stroud and defensive midfielder Sebastian Berhalter have made a rare appearance in the starting XI. Berhalter will likely serve to clean up a back line that has given up more goals in the past few weeks, while Stroud will look to shake up an offense that doesn't always make a crack into goal.
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Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!