AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC came up short, continuing its struggles against opponents outside of MLS competition, falling 3-1 to FC Juarez, resulting in elimination from the Leagues Cup.
Austin FC looked aggressive in the early going, with several good chances coming from players like Rodney Redes, and DP Sebastian Driussi, who returned to action from injury.
In the 23rd minute, Ethan Finlay put the fans on their feet with a goal to give Austin the early lead. It was Finlay’s sixth goal of the season.
Twelve minutes later, Sebastian Saucedo of FC Juarez capitalized on a free kick opportunity to equalize the match, silencing Q2 Stadium and putting the Verde and Black on their heels.
The 2nd half was when things went off the rails for Austin FC, as FC Juarez turned up the pressure and had the home team on their heels.
The match took a turn in the 62nd minute when Aitor Garcia scored the go ahead goal for FC Juarez.
It was a moment that changed the energy in a major way, and not a positive way for the home team.
“The first goal sucks the life out of the stadium and the life out of the team to a certain degree,” said Head Coach Josh Wolff. “Then you give up a second goal quite quick, it showed a lack of maturity and we looked a little naïve.”
Austin FC couldn’t get anything else going throughout the second half, misfiring on a couple of chances.
FC Juarez delivered the dagger in the 69th minute courtesy of Aitor Garcia who scored his second goal of the contest to basically put Austin to bed with a two goal advantage.
With the loss, Austin FC is eliminated from Leagues Cup competition.
Austin is not scheduled to take the field again until August 20th on the road at St. Louis, but Josh Wolff is not ruling out another match to keep his team from going totally cold from competition.
“We’ll get back to work, there’s plenty to work on and we’ll try to get a game in there as well, there’s some other teams that are knocked out,” Wolff said. “I think that’s what we’ll have to try to focus on someway with somebody before St. Louis to try get game cadence and get the intensity right before that game.”