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Austin FC pulls off long-shot 1-0 win with 10 men in Montreal

Austin FC defied the odds in a 1-0 win against CF Montreal Saturday night. (Austin FC/Twitter)

After a sluggish start and first-half red card, Austin FC beat the odds with ten men to beat CF Montréal 1-0 Saturday night.

Even with Dani Pereira's fateful red card and a resulting one-man deficit on the pitch, the Verde and Black won in its first MLS match in three weeks thanks to a former Montreal striker—Austin FC's Maxi Urruti—who scored against his old teammates in the 67th minute to win the match.

The club remains at third in the MLS West as it nears the halfway point on its second season.

Here are three takeaways from the match:

One too many tackles 

Fans breathed a sigh of relief—and surprise—when Pereira was first spotted on the CF Montreal pitch for his first match on international soil. The 21-year-old starter arrived from Venezuela as an asylum seeker when he was 15 and has been unable to play in games outside of the U.S. since.

But for the second time in two months, Pereira was forced to the bench as his wayward tackle earned a red card before the end of the first half. With ten men left on the pitch, Austin FC was left with no Pereira, 11 opponents and an entire half left of play.

In a tweet, Pereira apologized to fans after the match as the team celebrated its victory. The game marks the first win in a red card match in Austin FC's history.

An Urruti goal

Austin FC took its furthest road trip to date as it ended its hiatus with the Montreal match, and the visitors seemed to still be shaking off the three-week-old dust in the first half of the match. And while Montreal racked up higher possession, shots on goal and more across the stat board, Urruti's second-half goal sealed the deal for the unlikely Austin victors.

Urruti, who spent time with Montreal for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, tapped a big Jon Gallagher pass over his former team's goalie in the 67th minute to secure the win. Urruti has scored five goals this season and is behind just Sebastian Driussi as the team's top goalscorer.

Stuver's key saves

Austin FC's unlikely win could've ended much differently without the usual heroics from keeper Brad Stuver.

While Stuver hasn't had to make the same rapid-fire saves as last season, he's still proved crucial in Austin's closest games. Such was the case when the keeper made a cheeky last-minute grab for the ball while sitting on the ground to keep Montreal's Kei Kamara from scoring in the first half.

Stuver made two other saves in the match to complete his fourth clean sheet of the season.

BONUS: Fagundez's near-miss

Midfielder Diego Fagundez's enemy isn't always his opponents.

Fagundez attempt at Austin's first goal was stymied by the post as his shot ricocheted back to Montreal in the 58th minute of play.


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