Austin FC defeated its fellow Texas MLS team, Houston Dynamo FC, 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Q2 Stadium, marking the club's eighth win of its inaugural season.
It was an unusual match from a scoring perspective, more own goals—when the opposing team inadvertently scores on their own net—were scored than honest ones.
The Verde and Black came out of the gates strong in the first half, dictating the possession and pace from the outset. Austin FC drew two fouls, was awarded two corner kicks and got off three shots all in the first five minutes of action. Austin was rewarded for its effort with a penalty in the sixth minute.
Austin midfielder Cecilio Domínguez drew the penalty by driving up the left wing before being tackled from behind by Houston defender Zarek Valentin just inside the area. It was then Domínguez who stepped up to take the shot. Taking aim with his right foot, the shot bounced off the left post, then the right before bouncing off goalkeeper Marko Maric of the Dynamo and into the goal. Maric was credited with an own goal and Austin found itself ahead 1-0 early on.
Well...you don't see that very often. #VERDE https://t.co/JwBNVKqCxD— Major League Soccer (@Major League Soccer) 1635111133.0
Following the defensive mistake, the Dynamo played with a heightened sense of urgency for the remainder of the half.
And just as the action seemed to be winding down before halftime, Austin launched one last-ditch attack in the final minute of stoppage time. Team captain Alex Ring got the ball in a dangerous position just outside of the box and after dodging several Houston defenders, got the ball to the open Sebastián Driussi. Driussi fired off a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner to take Austin FC up 2-0 going into the break.
Besides a two-goal advantage for Austin, the stats were fairly even in the first half. Both teams committed six fouls and had a player booked for a yellow card. Houston had a slight advantage shooting the ball, getting off eight shots and three on target while Austin had seven shots and two on target.
Austin once again came out quick to start the second half, getting off two shots in the first minute followed by two more in the 53rd minute. All were handled by the Dynamo defense.
As the final whistle neared, the Dynamo ramped up its aggression in an attempt to squeak by with a draw. Just as it seemed that Austin FC would walk away with the clean sheet, defender Julio Cascante sent the ball into his own net after it was cleared by his teammate and ricocheted off of his body.
Now only trailing 2-1, Houston tried desperately to even the score and was awarded two corners in the final minute of stoppage. Alas, the Dynamo could not get off a shot and Austin FC walked away with the win.
With the win, Austin now holds a 2-1 all-time record against the neighboring Houston. Austin remains at the bottom of the Western Conference in 13th place with a record of 8-19-4 while Houston is in 11th place.
Austin FC's next match will be away against FC Dallas on Oct. 30. Dallas FC joins them at the bottom in 12th place.
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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.
That ball in behind from @SebadriussiOk.
That cross from @DiegolFagundez.
The brace from @10_dominguez94. pic.twitter.com/SQIjwV1f3T
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) October 2, 2021
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.