Sebastián Driussi scored twice and Brad Stuver saved two penalty kicks as Austin FC erased a two-goal deficit to win its first-ever Audi MLS Cup Playoffs match, defeating Real Salt Lake on Sunday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Q2 Stadium. The match ended 2-2 after extra time, and the Verde & Black won the ensuring shootout 3-1.
Austin advances to the Western Conference Semifinals, where it will host the winner of tomorrow’s match between FC Dallas and Minnesota United FC next Sunday.
RSL took the lead in the 3rd-minute through Cordova, who then doubled his tally 12 minutes later from the penalty spot.
Austin responded well to the early deficit, and got a goal back through Driussi in the 31st-minute. Diego Fagundez played an inch-perfect cross for the Argentine to head in, the eighth time in 2022 that pair combined to score.
The Verde & Black came to life in the second half, with a pair of chances falling Emiliano Rigoni’s way. Between those chances, RSL forward Rubio Rubin was shown a red card for a foul on Stuver.
Austin piled on the pressure, forcing multiple saves from RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath. Just when it looked as though time might run out, Rigoni won a penalty kick in stoppage time. Driussi converted the ensuing penalty kick to tie the score with only moments remaining in the match.
Driussi came close to winning the match on three separate occasions in extra time, hitting the post once and twice having goals ruled out.
In the shootout, Stuver saved a pair of RSL penalty attempts and another was missed, meaning successful attempts from Driussi, Fagundez, and Rigoni won the contest for Austin.
- SPOT ON: Driussi and Stuver both showed their excellence in penalty kicks. Driussi converted from the spot once in normal time and once in the shootout to bring his penalty record to a perfect 6 for 6 in MLS, while Stuver saved a pair of RSL PK attempts in the shootout.
- NEVER SAY DIE: Austin became the first team in league history to win four separate matches after trailing by two or more goals, doing so three times in the regular season and on its MLS Cup Playoffs debut vs. RSL. The Verde & Black are only the third MLS team in the last decade to advance after trailing by multiple goals.
- SELLOUT STREAK: The attendance of 20,738 at Q2 Stadium marked Austin FC's 35th consecutive MLS home sellout, extending the league's longest active streak.
Austin FC will host the winner of Monday’s match between FC Dallas and Minnesota United FC at Q2 Stadium in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. CT. The match will feature national television broadcasts on ESPN in English and on ESPN Deportes in Spanish.
On radio, the match will be broadcast on KASE-FM (ALT 97.5) in English, as well as on TUDN Radio Austin (104.3-HD2, KLQB) in Spanish.