Austin FC II defeated Sporting KC II 2-0 in Round One of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs on Friday night at Rock Chalk Park to advance to the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference Semifinals with a win in the team’s first-ever postseason match.
Shortly after the game started, David Rodríguez found Micah Burton in open space, whose shot tested Sporting KC II goalkeeper Ethan Bandré. MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Year Damian Las made a pair of strong saves later in the first half to keep the match tied.
ATXFC II scored the opening goal of the match in the 52nd minute thanks to the powerful left foot of Rodríguez. Rodríguez carried the ball from the right wing to the edge of the penalty area, and fired a shot that whizzed past Bandré to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. At the hour mark, Las made another leaping save to keep the hosts scoreless.
As Austin pressed forward, Rodríguez flicked the ball over the SKC II defender to Alfonso Ocampo-Chávez. Ocampo-Chávez was then fouled in the box as he was dribbling around Jahon Rad. Alonso Ramírez stepped up to the mark and converted his penalty kick to secure the playoff victory for the Verde & Black and send them through to the next round.
ATX (0-1) – David Rodríguez (assisted by Bobosi Byaruhanga) 52’
ATX (0-2) – Alonso Ramírez (penalty kick) 86’
Austin FC II awaits the results from the other Western Conference Quarterfinal matches to determine who their opponent will be in the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs.