Wednesday night saw Austin FC lose its first match at Q2 Stadium as the Verde & Black lost 2-0 against LAFC. Jose Cifuentes and Diego Rossi scored the two goals for the away side in a match that was high in intensity and hard challenges.
Austin again came out on the front foot -- much like it did against Portland last week -- but couldn’t get on the scoresheet early. Kekuta Manneh, in his first start, nearly scored his first for the Verde & Black in the 19th minute but his shot was saved at the near post by LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero.
The Verde & Black had a big let off in the 24th minute when Carlos Vela’s goal was disallowed following Video Review, as Raheem Edwards fouled Alex Ring when winning the ball prior to the goal. Fifteen minutes later LAFC were able to score, pouncing on a mistake by ATXFC ‘keeper Brad Stuver. Stuver eventually saved Kim Moon-hwan’s shot but the rebound fell to Jose Cifuentes and the midfielder finished into an empty net.
Diego Fagundez nearly leveled the score after halftime after some nice play from Žan Kolmanič but his shot was saved by Romero. In the 73rd minute, Alex Ring was able to get free on a corner kick from Kolmanič as he nearly matched his goal from Thursday. Ultimately his header landed wide of the net as Austin continued its search for an equalizer.
Austin’s last best chance came in the 86th minute when Cecilio Domínguez played in a low-hard cross off a set piece. His cross ended up in a scramble in front of net but no one from the home side was able to latch onto it.
Diego Rossi provided a capper for LAFC three minutes later as Austin were chasing a goal and pushing numbers forward. The Uruguayan was played through on goal by Carlos Vela and he was able to finish past Stuver to put his team up 2-0.
- THE CAPTAIN: While Ring was not able to come up with another goal, he put in another dominant shift in the midfield. The midfielder completed 92.6% of his passes, contested 11 duels and created two chances.
- POSSESSION DOMINATION: After controlling 69% of the possession against the Timbers, Austin continued their domination on the ball against LAFC. ATXFC ended up with 63% of the possession on Wednesday, helping to limit LAFC’s opportunities to create chances on the ball. The key for the Verde & Black going forward will be to turn all its possession into chances, like Josh Wolff’s team did against Portland.
- TIME TO REST: After a busy stretch over the past few weeks, Austin will get a chance to take a break from MLS play as its next match in league play comes July 22 against the Seattle Sounders. New signing Moussa Djitté should be available for the match as he will look to add some punch up top. The Verde & Black will play an international friendly on July 13 against Liga MX giants Tigres UANL.