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Austin FC wins 2-1 over Real Salt Lake

(Austin FC/Twitter)

Austin FC picked up its seventh win of the year thanks to a brace from midfielder Cecilio Domínguez in a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake Saturday afternoon at Q2 Stadium.

Despite the win over fifth-place Salt Lake, Austin FC, with an overall record of 7-17-4, remains two points behind the Houston Dynamo and in last place in the Western Conference.

The Verde and Black were in control of the game from the outset with a header off target by Diego Fagundez after a corner kick coming in the fourth minute.

Austin FC was awarded its third corner kick in the 16th minute which found its way to Sebastián Driussi who fired off a left-footed shot toward the center of the goal. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa was able to make the save but unable to control the ball. Domínguez was in the right place at the right time for the rebound and put his shot into the bottom right corner to put Austin FC up 1-0.

With a one-goal lead, Austin FC kept its foot on the pedal and continued to outplay Real Salt Lake for the remainder of the half. Austin managed three more shots in the half, two coming from Moussa Djitté, while Salt Lake City got off one.

In total for the first half, Austin controlled possession 53.2% of the opening half and held advantages over Salt Lake City including shots (7-3), shots on goal (2-0), passes (264-235) and tackles (12-5).

Austin FC started the second half with similar energy as the first. Domínguez had two shots early in the half, one off-target in the 47th minute and one on target in the 53rd minute, while Zan Kolmanic had a shot on target in the 52nd minute.

Austin picked up its security goal in the 55th minute after Driussi placed a tricky pass over the Real Salt Lake defenders for Fagundez who then found the wide-open Domínguez for the easy goal.

Following the goal, Real Salt Lake picked up the aggression and began to test the Austin defense. This sense of urgency by Salt Lake City culminated in a goal in the 64th minute by Damir Kreilach. Rubio Rubín placed a touch-pass behind the Austin defenders and Kreilach was there to put the shot past Brad Stuver into the bottom right corner.

Now only up 2-1, Austin opted to sub out Domínguez along with Hector Jiménez and insert Nick Lima and Daniel Pereira.

Austin FC's momentum slowed down significantly following the goal as the team tried to run out the clock. Salt Lake City, on the other hand, tried desperately to secure the equalizing goal and prevent the loss.

The last bit of drama came in the 78th minute. Austin came dangerously close to a third goal after Djitté appeared to draw a foul in the penalty area. Following a VAR decision, the penalty was rescinded.

As the match came to a close both teams tested the opposing defenses but neither team came away with a goal.

In the end, Austin FC walked away with the three points and its fifth home win. Next time out, Austin will once again be at Q2 Stadium as it takes on Minnesota United at 8 p.m. on Saturday.


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