In a battle between two Western Conference foes, the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC managed to defeat Austin FC 2-1 at Q2 Stadium on Wednesday night. Alex Ring scored Austin’s lone goal while Jake Nerwinski and Brian White tallied for Vancouver.
Austin was able to create a few chances to start the half, including one off a high press that resulted in a Cecilio Domínguez shot from outside the box. Domínguez would leave the match in the 30th minute with Jon Gallagher taking the field in his place.
In the 37th minute, Austin’s captain stepped up and scored the match opener. Sebastián Driussi whipped in an outswinging corner and Ring’s snapped header found its way to the far post to give ATXFC a lead.
White nearly scored an equalizer for Vancouver eight minutes later, but Austin was able to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Vancouver managed to find a goal of its own off a corner kick in the 52nd minute. Brad Stuver saved White’s initial header but Nerwinski just had to stick his foot out to bundle in the rebound.
Austin pushed to grab the lead again with Jon Gallagher and Tomás Pochettino each having quality chances to score ATXFC’s second. With the Verde & Black unable to add to its tally, Vancouver took advantage and scored its second in the 74th minute.
The Whitecaps hit Austin on the counter with Deiber Caicedo feeding Ryan Gauld a pass that took to him the endline and the Scotsman played a pass across the face of goal that White finished into an empty net.
Gallagher had a big chance to equalize in the 86th minute, but his header off a Nick Lima cross stayed above the crossbar.
TICKETS: Austin FC vs. Portland Timbers
Austin FC are back at Q2 Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 21 to take on Portland Timbers.
- DRIUSSI GETS ON THE BOARD: In his second start -- and fourth appearance overall -- Sebastián Driussi got his name into the box score for the first time with Austin. The forward was dangerous all night playing up top and provided the assist on Ring’s goal.
- STUVER’S A STAR: While he was snubbed from next week’s MLS All-Star Game, Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver continued his strong play on Wednesday night. The 30-year-old made six saves on the ‘Caps, helping to bolster his case as one of the best at his position in MLS.
- MORE SHOTS AT HOME: This loss will sting, but Austin will be right back in front of its fans quickly as the Portland Timbers come to town for the second time on Saturday night. That will be followed by a visit from FC Dallas the following Sunday as ATXFC will try and collect some points at Q2 Stadium.
- Wolff's message to the fans: "We're all open to criticism right now. The team is not performing well enough and that's my job and our staff's job to get the best out of [the team]. It's been disappointing for all of us, we're all frustrated and disappointed for the fans. Me for them more than anything because they pour their heart and soul into every one of these games. We see the fans out and about in the city, they're extremely supportive. It's our job to keep pushing on."
- Stuver on getting through adversity: "I've been in a lot of different locker rooms. I've been on teams that have been bad, I've been on teams that have been good and won their conference. This is by no means a bad team. This team is talented, we have the pieces, we have the system, we have everything we need to be a successful team. It's just we're in a rough moment. We're struggling to score goals consistently in matches and right now for a lot of the new guys in the league and a lot of the younger guys, they need to understand that the way MLS works is if you get hot right now and if you take off at this moment, you'll be flying. You'll end up being in the playoffs and you'll end up being hot at the right time."
- Wolff on playing consistent over 90 minutes: "I think it's a few things. Clearly today there was a physical effect because I've never seen our team hit the wall like they hit the wall today. I think physically and emotionally they hit the wall. Putting together 90 minutes requires investment physically, mentally and emotionally and we're showing a little lack of maturation in that. We have enough quality and enough leaders on the field but it takes full commitment from everybody."