Austin FC fails again to clinch a playoff spot in a blowout loss to Nashville at Geodis Park. To make a painful run of rain-delayed defeats worse, Mukhtar snatches the Golden Boot from Driussi, adding two more goals to his tally to go ahead with 21 goals. Djitté also loses his cool in the waning minutes earning a red card and suspension next game. ATX hasn’t endured back-to-back losses like this since May.
Highlights of what Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said in the press conference after Austin’s defeat on September 3.
Opening Statement about the game
“It was a tale of two halves. The guys started extremely well. The first half we had a lot of examples of what we wanted the game to look like. We didn’t cash in. In the start of the second half give Nashville credit; they came out with a different intensity, different intent.”
The big reason for the result tonight
“In the end, you got to take your opportunities when they’re there as well. Be a little more ruthless and calm. And have the quality in front of goal. I think goals change games and we weren’t able to grab the first one. That’s the big difference tonight.”
What needs to change when they face Nashville again in two weeks
“A lot of the things we did in the first half was solid. We got to be able to put some of that [goal opportunities] away. Control in transition. Not give up some needless fouls. Some of those [fouls] are silly. I think the refs tonight were again another example of things slipping from their grasp as well. But we got to be better with our balance. There were a couple moments in transition — we’re in position, just not making the plays. Those are hard runs we got to recover back on.”
Wolff’s thoughts on Sebastian Driussi dropping his lead in the Golden Boot race
“I thought Sebastian was pretty strong. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t find a goal. I think Joe Willis makes a great save on the header there at the end.” Wolff adds, “Sebastian continues to get better. It was a busy week. Tough week for him. He grinded today. We needed that from him. And we were unfortunate not to grab the lead in the first half. Those things change the implications of the game.”
Moussa Djitte’s sending off in the final minutes
“The foul is not a foul. It’s quite laughable. He gets around Zimmerman. There’s a lot of mockeries made about soccer players for diving — it’s a pretty amazing dive. The fact that Nima [the ref] takes that and runs with it is pretty poor from a reffing standpoint.”
Assessment of Emiliano Rigoni’s second performance
“Emiliano did a good job. Ability to go by guys. Dipping inside for shooting and crossing purposes. He’s got to get fit. He’s got to get up to speed. It’s his first competition now in seven weeks, so it’s always a little taxing or difficult to get into some of these games. He’s got to get acclimated. His qualities will help us for sure.”
On next week’s match against the Sounders
“It doesn’t get any easier. Good team. It’s challenging down the stretch. I’ve been in this league awhile, so each week has its own pressures and each team is looking for their own position, whether it’s to get inside the playoffs, gain home field, win the supporters’ shield. We’re trying to get into the playoffs like a lot of teams.”
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