Austin FC couldn’t string together two strong halves in a 4-3 loss that saw the Quakes come from behind to score three goals in the second half. The club will also be without the services of its captain Alex Ring against LA Galaxy after an ill-timed tackle in the 65′ led to his second yellow of the match.
El Tree finally got off to a fast start with a 6′ Driussi goal, and two more momentum-building goals (35′ and 45′) before the halftime whistle. ATXFC looked dangerous with 10 shots on target, out of 15 total shots, giving weary Verde fans false hope of ending its streak of losses.
Here’s what Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said after the Silicon Hills vs Silicon Valley match.
On Djitté starting for the first time
Josh Wolff commented on striker Moussa Djitté starting for the first time since his arrival from France on Sept. 2. “I think you see what he does. He has a presence to bring people in. He’s quite calm and good with the ball. And around the box he’s got power and he’s got separation. Obviously, we’ve lacked a striker for most of this year. I thought he brought us into the game in good ways. It allowed Driussi and Alex to get to some other areas to find some third man bounces and combine off of them.”
Djitté still isn’t match fit Wolff explained. “He hasn’t played since May so we’ve given him some minutes here and there. We’ve tried to up his conditioning, but that was it: he was cramping in the early 30 minutes of the first half.”
What happened in the second half?
“They (San Jose) came with more energy and intensity. For lack of a better word, we just didn’t match the commitment. We were a little slow, a little sluggish. Obviously, we brought in two subs.”
“The downshift at the start of the second half was too significant and it cost us.”
Looking back at the final result Wolff said, “In the end it’s difficult to swallow that result given the emotion and the intensity, and the response, and what it looked like the last 25-30 minutes. But you got to be buttoned up for 90 minutes and clearly that’s what we have to continue to get better at.”
More on the substitutions at half time
Two subs were made at the start of the second half. Pereira was subbed off for Berhalter and Djitté subbed off for Dominguez.
“Dani Pereira was on the cusp of a red in the first half. He had a number of fouls and was getting talked to (by the referee). That was part of the concern there. Sebastian brings mobility and obviously that was a big part of how we could keep the ball, move the ball.”
“Cecilio came in to give us presence as a striker and I thought he did well once the half took on. They brought energy. We didn’t match that and when we brought on our players there was now an uptick of both those things. Again, we were right back in a good place.”
“But, it’s unfortunate. And I’ll take responsibility. Clearly, we made changes at half. The game, the intensity changed and some of that is from just coming out of half, but clearly we didn’t have a good start to the second half.”
Thoughts on Alex Ring’s hand ball that equalized the game in the second half
“Davy Arnaud (Austin FC assistant coach) asked them (the fourth official) and he made it sound like it had nothing to do with hitting Alex’s leg and that it actually just hit his arm. So, he was clearly incorrect in his assessment in what he was telling us because Alex is making a direct play on the ball and distance to his arm is minimal, and again I don’t believe it is a hand ball. I really don’t.”