Austin FC lose 2-1 against a good Minnesota side away from home. Through twenty-six games, Austin sits in second place in the Western Conference, 9 points behind LAFC.
For the fourth straight match, Austin FC played the same starting 11. Minnesota United made just one change to the starting lineup from their win over Nashville last Sunday.
Despite Austin having the majority of the possession early in the first half, Minnesota had more of the attacking initiative and would score first in the 25th minute. Ethan Finlay gave away his second penalty in two games. Emanuel Reynoso put his penalty past Brad Stuver’s outstretched arms. A familiar score line: Austin 0-1 Minnesota.
Minnesota continued to have success down the wings where they overloaded Austin’s defensive line. Stuver was called to make several saves in which he rose to the occasion. Austin was forced to build up their attack much slower than Minnesota.
This build-up play would pay off in stoppage time. Nick Lima worked his play to the end line on the edge of the penalty area. His crossed was blocked by the arm of DJ Taylor. Handball, penalty. Sebastián Driussi sent Dayne St. Clair the wrong way from the spot! Austin 1-1 Minnesota.
The second half started out relatively boring, with the highlight being some very audible unsavory chants from some Minnesota fans directed at Stuver of all people. Neither team looked all that dangerous, wasting any half chances they had. However, Minnesota would retake the lead in the 62nd minute.
Austin attempted to play out of the back from a goal kick. Julio Cascante was caught in possession in his own penalty area by Franco Fragapane, who then chipped Stuver. Austin 1-2 Minnesota.
After the goal, Minnesota were content to preserve their lead, sitting back and trying to grab a third on the break. Neither team gave the opposing keeper much work to do, however. Credit to Minnesota – they pressed well and were much more efficient with their time on the ball.
Final Score: Austin FC 1, Minnesota United 2.
Next up, Austin FC come back to Q2 for a battle at the top of the Western Conference against LAFC on Friday, August 26th. LAFC are in 1st place in the Western Conference, with 57 points after twenty-six matches.
Sloppy in possession
Austin only successfully completed 76% of their passes (216 out of 286) tonight. When Austin are trying to expand the field, and drop passes in behind the defense, a stat like this okay. The striking thing about tonight was the number of relatively easy passes we missed. Perhaps it was just an off night for us.
We shot ourselves in the foot, again
Giving away a penalty and another giveaway in our own penalty area costs us tonight. Josh Wolff’s gameplan is to build up possession by playing it out of the back. When it works, such as during the Houston match, it can look beautiful. It does help retain possession on goal kicks. When it goes wrong, it really goes wrong. This is part of the risk in playing this way. Most nights it’s to our benefit, tonight it was not.
We were poor in attack
Austin failed to take advantage of winning the possession battle 2-to-1 and enjoying a lot of time in the attacking half. Austin took 13 shots and only 2 were on target, including Driussi’s penalty. One stat that sums up our poor decision-making tonight – out of those 13 shots, 7 of them were blocked. We often took shots that had no chance of reaching the target, much less trouble St. Clair.
Goal Scoring Summary
- 45+2’ – Sebastián Driussi (unassisted – penalty)
- 25’ – Emanuel Reynoso (unassisted – penalty)
- 62’ – Franco Fragapane (unassisted)
Man of the Match
Tonight’s Man of the Match is Brad Stuver.
Cover Photo Credit: Austin FC Instagram
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