AUSTIN (KXAN) — Julio Cascante thought he was the hero with a game-tying goal in the 77th minute, but a VAR review determined he was offsides, and Austin never recovered as Seattle beat Austin FC, 1-0.
The lone goal of the match came on an incredible strike from Raul Ruidiaz in the 67th minute. Just beyond midfield, the ball ricocheted off Austin defender Matt Besler and straight to Ruidiaz, who steadied it with his chest before sending it in from over 40 yards out.
Brad Stuver, who was caught off his line, never really stood a chance.
Cascante’s near-equalizer came on a free kick from Cecilio Dominguez. From about 27 yards out, Dominguez sent it into the six-yard box, where a diving Cascante header found the back of the net. But after 90 seconds of celebration, the referee went to the VAR and it was determined that Cascante was just offsides when the play started.
The Live Oaks dominated possession throughout the game, 75% to 25, and they had 13 shots to Seattle’s 10, with both teams putting three on target.
Those lopsided numbers were indicative of the bizarre circumstances surrounding the Sounders’ roster — playing without 10 key players because of injuries and international play.
As a result, Seattle started one of the youngest lineups in MLS history with a record five teenagers to open the match, including 15-year-old Obed Vargas, the third-youngest player to ever appear in an MLS match.
It’s the eighth time in the past 10 matches Austin’s been shutout, with five of those shutouts coming at Q2 Stadium.
Seattle’s inexperience combined with the lopsided possession numbers made the loss sting even more for Verde. After five home matches in six games, Austin’s amassed a total of just five points.
Because of a schedule adjustment that moved their road match against Vancouver from July 28 to Sept. 4, Austin FC is back home for their next match on July 31 against Colorado at 8 p.m. Vancouver’s been playing its home matches at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium in suburban Salt Lake City.