Austin FC fell 1-0 to Minnesota United FC on Saturday night at Q2 Stadium, as Franco Fragapane’s first-half goal proved to be the difference in a close contest.

ATXFC started brightly, creating a trio of chances in the opening 10 minutes. But despite the hosts’ attacking intent, Minnesota opened the scoring through Fragapane in the 16th minute. A low cross from Hassani Dotson picked out the Argentine unmarked at the far post, and Fragapane made no mistake with a close-range finish.

After falling behind, Austin continued to play on the front foot and nearly found the equalizer on multiple occasions before halftime. The most notable of those took place in the 43rd minute, when Tomás Pochettino found himself in space eight yards from goal but slipped as he struck his shot.

The second half was a similar story for the Verde & Black. A vicious volley from Moussa Djitté tested Minnesota goalkeeper Tyler Miller in the 71st minute, and Cecilio Domínguez curled a shot inches wide of the post seven minutes later.

ATXFC had one more fantastic chance right before the final whistle, as McKinze Gaines did well to beat multiple defenders and play in a cross for Sebastián Driussi. Driussi’s header went over the bar though, and for all of Austin’s possession and opportunities, the team was unable to break down a resolute Minnesota defense in the end.

THREE THINGS

  • EVERYTHING BUT A GOAL: Austin topped Minnesota in just about every major attacking metric, outshooting the Loons 19 to 12, creating 15 chances to the visitors’ 11, and completing 482 passes to their 203.
  • A TEAM POSSESSED: With 66 percent possession, the match was the fourth time this season that the Verde & Black have recorded more than 65 percent possession at home, winning two and losing two of those matches.
  • BUSY WEEK AHEAD: Austin FC has two matches next week, with a trip west on Wednesday to take on the San Jose Earthquakes before returning home for a Sunday fixture against Houston Dynamo FC.

QUOTABLES

  • Head Coach Josh Wolff on the team’s performance: “Statistically speaking, we hammered them in just about every category. We got access to pockets, we switched the point of attack, the only thing lacking obviously is the most important thing, which is a goal.”
  • Goalkeeper Brad Stuver on the team’s defensive continuity: “I was so proud of our backline today. Watching Julio [Cascante] and [Jhohan] Romaña battle and win almost every single aerial duel they were part of, they were stepping up. They were making sure guys didn’t turn, they were covering back, making sure guys didn’t get easy shots on goal. They were breaking lines, finding our wingers, finding our 10s into space and creating attacks. I think that by far was the best game I’ve seen those two play.”
  • Wolff on positives to take away: “From an attacking style of play that we wanted, what we thought we’d get access to, what we worked on all week was really clear. We did a really nice job of that, and we attacked the edges really well.”