Austin FC II clinched an MLS NEXT Pro playoff berth on Friday night at Parmer Field at St. David’s Performance Center on Friday night, picking up a shootout victory after drawing 1-1 with LAFC2 in regulation.
ATXFC II captain Joe Hafferty scored his first goal of the season in the 13th minute to give Austin an early lead. The ball bounced around the six-yard box surrounded by a group of players until Hafferty was able to place it past LAFC2 goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau. Damian Las blocked a powerful shot on frame by Jeremy Botioja in the 43rd minute to keep LAFC2 scoreless entering the half.
After several impressive saves by Las to start the second half, the visitors equalized from the penalty spot through Batioja in the 68th minute. In the final minute of stoppage time, David Rodríguez played in a corner kick which Hafferty headed off the crossbar, forcing the game to penalty kicks.
After each team successfully converted its first four PK attempts, Las denied LAFC2’s Yekeson Subah, and Cheick Touré scored the decisive spot kick to secure ATXFC II's spot in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro playoffs with two points on the night.
ATX (1-0) – Joe Hafferty (assisted by Valentin Noël) 13’
LA (1-1) – Jeremy Batioja (penalty kick) 68’
Austin FC II will play its 13th away match and 26th match overall of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season against MNUFC2 on Sunday, September 10 at 5:00 p.m. CT. The match will be available to watch on the Apple TV app to MLS Season Pass subscribers.