Goals either side of halftime set the stage for the Colorado Rapids to defeat Austin FC 3-0 on Wednesday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Throughout the opening 45 minutes, Colorado had more of the ball and more shots, but ATXFC had the game’s first big chance fall its way in the 35th minute when McKinze Gaines turned Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar on the halfway line and broke in alone behind Colorado’s defense.

As Gaines lined up his shot, it appeared Abubakar pushed him from behind and prevented him from making clean contact with the ball, but the referee waved away Austin’s shouts for a penalty kick. The Rapids then took the lead in the final minute of first half stoppage time, as Jonathan Lewis’ header deflected in off of an unfortunate Nick Lima.

Colorado began the second half as it ended the first, doubling its lead through Nicolás Mezquida in the 46th minute. The 29-year-old Uruguayan intercepted a pass from Austin goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell and slotted the ball into the unprotected net.

In the 59th minute, the Rapids put the result beyond doubt with a goal from a well-worked corner kick. Jack Price picked up his second assist of the game, and 11th of the season, on a cross which Auston Trusty steered home with an accurate header.

THREE THINGS

  • A DIFFERENT LOOK: Austin’s Starting XI featured seven changes from the lineup that defeated the LA Galaxy 2-0 last Sunday night, with forward and native Austinite McKinze Gaines and goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell making their first starts for the Club.
  • IRONMAN DOMINGUEZ: On a night of rest for a number of Austin FC players, Cecilio Domínguez couldn’t keep off the pitch. The No. 10 subbed on for the second half to mark his 27th appearance of the season: the only Austin FC player to feature in every match of the inaugural campaign.
  • QUICK TURNAROUND: The Verde & Black had about 72 hours of rest between Sunday’s win over LA and Wednesday night’s match, and they’ll have even less before Saturday afternoon’s fixture against Real Salt Lake at Q2 Stadium.

QUOTABLES

  • Head Coach Josh Wolff on the team’s mindset following the defeat: “I think it’s a learning experience for myself but our entire group obviously. We’ve got to push it under the rug as quick as possible, we have another game to focus on.”
  • Wolff on Gaines’ performance and first start: “He brings that speed, he brings verticality. He did a good job getting in on a 1v1, and it didn’t work out. But we’ll continue to work and refine the other areas of his game as far as positioning and timing. He had an unbelievable introduction at home and obviously took a great goal and wanted to carry that momentum and that opportunity that he earned to come in here and start tonight.”
  • Midfielder Jared Stroud on the team’s play in the first half: “We knew we were going to weather the storm in the first 10, 15 minutes, they’re at home, and we did a good job. As we kind of figured out our press and felt stable, going right up until halftime, I felt pretty confident. They weren’t really breaking us down in the second part of the first half, and we were playing well, so we’re going to take those positives.”