It was a historic night at Q2 Stadium on Thursday as Austin FC scored its first goals at home and notched the first home win in Club history with a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. ATXFC earned all three points in its third match at home in front of a raucous crowd after starting its home run with two points in two matches.
The Verde & Black came out with its hair on fire, creating multiple chances in the first 20 minutes of the half and controlling the run of play. That play eventually resulted in the first Austin FC goal at Q2 Stadium.
In the 28th minute Jon Gallagher received the ball on the right wing and played it to Tomás Pochettino, who was making a run down the right side. The Argentine quickly played it back to Gallagher, who continued his run into the box, and the Irishman finished precisely with his left foot. The goal is Gallagher’s second of the season.
Five minutes later Diego Fagundez quickly added to Austin’s lead. Julio Cascante spotted a long ball being played and made a strong clearing header that landed at the feet of Cecilio Domínguez. Domínguez played a deft touch to Fagundez who ended up 1v1 with Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark. Fagundez was able to finish past Clark for his third goal of the season.
The Timbers got one goal back in the seventh minute of stoppage time when Marvin Loria was played into space down the right wing. Loria was able to find Jeremy Ebobisse’s run and the striker finished with his left foot.
Austin continued piling on the pressure in the second half as Hector Jiménez ended up on the end of a play in the 51st minute that started with a weaving run through midfield by Daniel Pereira. Jiménez’s shot was cleared off the line and onto the crossbar by Timbers center Dario Zuparic. Pochettino made a marauding run through the midfield 12 minutes later that forced Clark into a save.
The Verde & Black found a third goal in the 77th minute off a set piece when Domínguez served in a cross off a set piece that Alex Ring re-directed into the back of the net. It’s Austin’s first set-piece goal ever.
A couple of minutes later Jiménez won the ball with some quality pressure in the Timbers half and played it off to Jared Stroud. He received the ball back in the box, worked his way around a defender, and slotted it in the back of the net.
- THE BREAKTHROUGH: The wait ultimately lasted 208 minutes for Austin FC and its fans, but when a goal finally came there was unadulterated joy emanating from the field and the stands. Jon Gallagher ended Austin’s goalscoring drought at home, scoring the first Austin FC in Q2 Stadium history. From their the floodgates opened as the Verde & Black put four more past the Timbers.
- BACK IN THE MIX: While it took three matches for the Verde & Black to score at home, Josh Wolff’s team was able to secure two points in its first two matches. With those points secured, and the three added with Thursday’s win, ATXFC are now level with the Timbers at 13 points with Portland holding onto their No. 7 spot in the Western Conference above the playoff line due to the wins tiebreaker.
- FLANK PLAY: Žan Kolmanič and Hector Jiménez weren’t the starters at fullback for ATXFC on opening day, but due to injury they’re currently entrenched in the starting XI and they both were difference-makers against Portland. Kolmanič worked his way into the attacking third constantly in the first half -- freeing up Diego Fagundez to be dangerous through the midfield -- while Jiménez was equally as dangerous in the second half. He ended up with one goal but could have at least one more and an assist.