Playing its first international friendly match at Q2 Stadium, Austin FC lost 3-1 to Liga MX’s Tigres UANL, winners of seven league titles and the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League. Rodney Redes scored the Verde & Black’s lone goal to briefly pull Austin level in the second half.
Diego Reyes opened the scoring in the 25th minute, but not until Austin had put together some chances going forward. Both Diego Fagundez and
Tomás Pochettino saw shots whistle wide after breaking through a Tigres defense that included Reyes and another former Mexican National Team center back, Hugo Ayala. Reyes’ goal came straight off a corner kick with Rafael Carioca’s cross finding the head of Guido Pizarro, who flicked it on to Reyes in front of net.
Pochettino nearly found an equalizer a minute after Reyes’ tally but the two teams went into half with the Tigres holding a 1-0 lead.
The second half started slow for both teams, but it picked up in the 59th minute when Andrew Tarbell made an impressive save after turning the ball over. Three minutes later, ATXFC found its equalizer.
Rodney Redes picked up the ball from Owen Wolff in between the lines in the midfield and drove at the defense. He skipped past one tackle and fired a rocket into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
Tigres regained the lead in the 71st minute when Raymundo Fulgencio latched onto a cross and volleyed it towards goal. Nicolas Lopez swooped in to deflect past Tarbell. Lopez scored again just two minutes later. Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman played a long ball over the top that found the foot of Fulgencio. After a couple of quick passes, Lopez was in the box and the forward opened up his left foot for a curler into the far upper corner of the net.
Both Manny Perez and Kekuta Manneh had chances to cut into the lead in the 82nd minute but Guzman came up with two big saves to preserve his team’s two-goal lead.
(4-2-3-1, R-L): GK: Andrew Tarbell; Hector Jiménez (Žan Kolmanič 45’), Jhohan Romaña, Matt Besler (Freddy Kleemann 45’), Aedan Stanley; Tomás Pochettino (Julio Cascante 74’), Sebastian Berhalter, Diego Fagundez (Owen Wolff 45’); Rodney Redes, Manny Perez (Trialist 87’), Kekuta Manneh
- 26’ -- TIG -- Diego Reyes (Guido Pizarro)
- 62’ -- ATX -- Rodney Redes (Trialist)
- 71’ -- TIG -- Nicolas Lopez (Raymundo Fulgencio)
- 73’ -- TIG -- Nicolas Lopez (Raymundo Fulgencio)
- RODNEY READY: After becoming the Club’s first signing, Rodney Redes was expected to be a major piece in Josh Wolff’s side. The Paraguyan has gotten off to a slow start with the Verde & Black, making just three starts. His goal -- and playing a full 90 minutes -- on Tuesday night could be just what he needs to get going in MLS play.
- MIDFIELD 3: Pochettino, Fagundez and Sebastian Berhalter had a chance to play 45 minutes together in the first half and they looked strong -- consistently being able to build through the Tigres midfield and into the final third. They did so even though they faced one of the top central midfielder duos for half that time in the form of Carioca and Pizarro. Pochettino’s form has been notably on the upswing of late as he continues to adjust to life in MLS.
- OPPORTUNITIES: Redes was not the only Austin player to get a rare start as Aedan Stanley, Perez and Manneh were all in the starting XI. Freddy Kleemann came on as a substitute to start the second half in what was his first appearance for ATXFC since preseason. Owen Wolff, who has been a part of the Club’s player development system since November, also played the final 45 minutes and provided the assist on Redes’ goal.