Austin FC’s comeback falls just short in a 4-3 loss to New York Red Bulls at home. Through twenty-two games, Austin sits in second place in the Western Conference, four points behind LAFC.
Three changes to the starting lineup saw Andrew Tarbell start in place of Brad Stuver in goal due to Health and Safety protocol, Felipe Martins replace Daniel Pereira in the six, and Ethan Finlay make way for Owen Wolff on the right wing.
The first fifteen minutes of the match were dominated by the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls scored two offside goals early on but finally converted a legal goal in the 15th minute. New York won possession back in the Austin half. Serge Ngoma ran at Austin’s back line and hit a hopeful knuckleball right at Tarbell. Tarbell could not control it and the ball escaped his grasp into the net. Austin 0-1 NY Red Bulls.
New York’s second goal came just eleven minutes later. Diego Fagúndez turned the ball over in our own half, leading to a shot on goal. Tarbell parried the shot away, Nick Lima attempted to get the ball upfield to Martins who had no idea he was being closed down. Dru Yearwood intercepted the pass, ran at Julio Cascante, and curled the ball into the right side-netting. Austin 0-2 NY Red Bulls.
A lot of the first half was miserable from an Austin perspective. New York pressed well, and the two-goal lead allowed them to sit back in their own half. Austin struggled to complete passes or make any headway into the attacking half. Until sometime around the 40th minute.
Sebastián Driussi and Fagúndez switched positions with Driussi moving out to the left side and Fagúndez moving more central. It also appeared that New York began to let up on the press a bit. Suddenly, Austin found more time in space in and around the New York penalty area.
In the 45th minute, Austin struck back. An Austin corner was cleared to Driussi just outside the penalty area. Driussi had to come back away from the goal to meet the clearance, back hit his shot on the volley, bouncing his curling effort between a mess of legs and into the back of the net! A crucial goal to get Austin back into the game at halftime. Austin 1-2 NY Red Bulls.
The second half started off a little better than the first for Austin, however, sloppiness would cost us again. Alex Ring gave the ball away to Yearwood in our own half. Yearwood found Cameron Harper with a through ball, who beat Ruben Gabrielsen with a shot fake and placed his shot low and past Tarbell. Austin 1-3 NY Red Bulls.
It would get worse for Austin. A bouncing ball off a New York goal kick falls to Harper. Harper hits a chipped through ball finding Tom Barlow through on goal. Barlow finished his 1-on-1 opportunity. Austin 1-4 NY Red Bulls.
Driussi would pull one back for Austin. Alex Ring won possession near the halfway line and found Driussi in midfield. Driussi beat Yearwood with a shot fake and hit a powerful strike into the back of the net from about 25-30 yards! Austin 2-4 NY Red Bulls.
Austin FC was not finished yet. The introductions of Washington Corozo and Moussa Djitté presented a new challenge for the Red Bull’s defense. Driussi found himself on the ball on the right wing and played a cross to the back post. Corozo attempted a bicycle kick but mishit it across the face of goal. Finlay was first to the ball, scoring off the half volley! Austin 3-4 NY Red Bulls.
Austin had a few changes to pull level, most notably Cascante could not keep his header down off a corner kick. Tarbell also has an excellent save to keep it close. But it was not to be for Austin.
Final Score: Austin FC 3, NY Red Bulls 4
Next up, Austin FC hit the road to take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, July 24th. Sporting Kansas City is rooted at the bottom of the Western Conference in 14th place, with 20 points after 23 matches.
One of the worst passing displays I can recall
It is hard for me to remember a match where our passing looked this bad. We gave them three of their goals directly as a result of misplayed passes in our own half. Through balls and cross-field balls were consistently overhit. The turnovers were incredibly frustrating to watch. Give New York some credit, they pressed well and forced many mistakes. But not all mistakes were forced.
This team has fight
Despite this passing display, this team fought back. Again. Driussi, for instance, seemed to take the score line personally. When pride is on the line this team comes out to play. I said it last week and I’ll say it again. This mentality will be a big asset come playoff time.
Starting Felipe over Pereira was a mistake
Josh Wolff made the choice to start Felipe in place of Pereira tonight. The thinking behind starting Felipe is that he would provide a veteran presence out there. I love Felipe and I think he is an asset to this team. That being said, he had an awful game. I was disappointed that Wolff kept him on the field to start the second half. He did not provide much defensive cover at all and struggled to deal with New York’s press. Everyone has bad games, I just wish Wolff had acted quicker.
Goal Scoring Summary
- 45’ – Sebastián Driussi (unassisted)
- 69’ – Sebastián Driussi (Alex Ring)
- 81’ – Ethan Finlay (Washington Corozo)
New York Red Bulls
- 15’ – Serge Ngoma (John Tolkin)
- 26’ – Dru Yearwood (unassisted)
- 51’ – Cameron Harper (Dru Yearwood)
- 65’ – Tom Barlow (Cameron Turner)
Man of the Match
With two goals, tonight’s Man of the Match is Sebastián Driussi.
Cover Photo Credit: Austin FC Instagram
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