Match Recap: Austin FC 2, Orlando City 2

Austin FC fought back from a 2-goal deficit to a 2-2 draw against Orlando City SC. Through thirteen games, Austin sits in second place in the Western Conference, two points behind LAFC.

The first half started off miserably for Austin FC. Just 2 minutes in, Brad Stuver attempted to play a pass out wide to Jon Gallagher but severely under hit it. The pass was intercepted by Júnior Urso and given to an open Ercan Kara right in front of goal where he could not miss. Austin 0-1 Orlando.

Austin looked to bounce back immediately with a good amount of pressure on Orlando’s defensive line. In the 8th minute, Maxi Urruti even hit the post.

However, the misery would get worse for Austin. In the 22nd minute, Orlando advanced play down their left wing (a common theme throughout much of the first half). The ball worked its way to Mauricio Pereyra whose shot was parried by Stuver. Unfortunately, this parry landed at the feet of Ruan who put it in the open net. Austin 0-2 Orlando.

Austin had a few decent chances near the end of the first half, however the best chance fell to Urso as the half expired. Urso somehow missed a wide-open net from point blank range, a huge let off for Austin.

ATX controlled possession for much of the early part of the second half, but the best chance fell yet again to Urso. Urso could not beat Stuver from right around the penalty spot. Urso was again left open but could not convert the aerobatic finish.

The match turned on consecutive yellow cards to Orlando’s Rodrigo Schlegel for two handballs. The first was just outside the penalty area, the second was from the free kick and was in the penalty area. Both were clear cases of Schlegel moving his arm to the ball.

Pedro Gallese did well to get a foot to Sebastián Driussi’s penalty, but it still found the back of the net. Austin 1-2 Orlando.

Austin FC Instagram

Minutes later, frustration started to show for the Lions who at this point whined and moaned about seemingly every call. César Araújo showed his frustration by kicking out at Alex Ring’s sensitive area after conceding a corner. Orlando’s second sending off in the space of less than ten minutes.

In the 83rd minute, Urruti held up the ball in the penalty area and played a pass towards Moussa Djitté. Although Djitté mishandled the pass, it found its way to an open Diego Fagúndez. Unfortunately, Fagúndez hit the post again for Austin.

Austin continued to pile on the pressure against the 9-man Orlando. Djitté missed an open header and Ring failed to beat Gallese on a cutback in the 88th and 89th minutes.

In the 95th minute, a short corner routine worked its way to Žan Kolmanič. Kolmanič played his cross to the middle where it was headed by a defender to Djitté waiting at the back post. Djitté had a lot to do but buried it past Gallese to rescue a point for Austin FC.

Austin FC Instagram

Final Score: Austin FC 2, Orlando 2.

Next up, Austin FC travels back to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, May 29th. The LA Galaxy are currently in 5th place in the Western Conference sitting 4 points behind ATXFC.

Three Takeaways

The Right Back Position

Nick Lima has had a rocky couple of weeks. After a couple of subpar performances, he played really well against LAFC on Wednesday night. However, tonight’s performance was likely Lima’s worst thus far. Orlando attacked him relentlessly in the first half and opening ten minutes of the second half. He pressed Orlando’s left winger along the sideline and was beat with a pass in behind him on nearly every possession Orlando had. I’m willing to be patient, however, because our other right back, Hector Jimenez, has also been shaky to start the season. Right back may become a position of need if we look to progress towards the playoffs. This combined with weakness at the right-wing position is concerning.

Orlando’s Immaturity

To be completely honest, Austin may not have gotten anything out of this match if not for Orlando’s immaturity. Even before the first sending off, it was evident their patience had worn thin. The constant whining and the surrounding and berating of the official at every opportunity was disgraceful. Thanks for the free point, buds.

Moussa Djitté

It is great to see Djitté back on the scoresheet. When he came into the match, he looked lively. He pressed well, and he was also a strong presence in the penalty area. I’m sure he wishes he could have put his headed effort on target in the 88th minute but he made up for it at the death.

Goal Scoring Summary – Austin FC

  • 63’ – Sebastían Driussi (penalty)
  • 90+5’ – Moussa Djitté (unassisted)

Goal Scoring Summary – Orlando

  • 2’ – Ercan Kara (Júnior Urso)
  • 22’ – Ruan (unassisted)

(Cover Photo Credit: Austin FC Instagram)

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