An exhilarating comeback saw Austin FC draw FC Dallas 3-3 in regulation on Wednesday at Toyota Stadium. Dallas prevailed in a penalty-kick shootout 4-2. The draw helped Austin earn their first point against an MLS opponent as they compete in the La Copita preseason tournament.
Freddy Vargas opened the scoring in the 11th minute for Dallas after picking up a ball in the midfield off the foot of Jose Martinez. The newly-acquired winger beat two Austin defenders on his way into the box and placed his shot into the far top corner, beating Brad Stuver.
The home side doubled their lead in the 34th minute off a set piece. Martinez headed the first chance off the crossbar and Matt Hedges found himself in front of the goal off the rebound and headed it in.
Austin found their third goal of the preseason at the start of the second half as trialist Aedan Stanley had his cross deflected. The ball found the feet of Jared Stroud inside the box and the former New York Red Bull had two defenders on his back. He quickly turned and was able to find the far post from a tight angle and beat FCD goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.
Just a few minutes later, ATXFC were able to level the match after a fracas in the box. Eventually the ball hit the arm of a Dallas defender and Diego Fagundez easily finished past Maurer from the spot.
Cecilio Domínguez entered in the 73rd minute and immediately made an impact. The Paraguayan ended up 1v1 with Hedges in Dallas’ 18 and was able to draw a penalty after beating him.
“The credit goes to the players,” said Wolff after the match. They powered through the first half even though they were down and in the second half they came out and played even better than they did in the first half. [They] deserved everything they got in that second half.”
Dallas was able to find an equalizer of their own in the 86th minute when Vargas was able to find Jesus Ferreira free at the top of the six-yard box. The US international slotted it past Stuver to level the score at 3-3.
The match went into a penalty-kick shootout with Dallas scoring all four of the penalties as Danny Hoesen missed and Dominguez’s was saved by Maurer.
Austin will finish off the inaugural La Copita preseason tournament on Saturday against San Antonio FC at 4 pm CST.
- 11’ - DAL - Freddy Vargas
- 34’ - DAL - Matt Hedges
- 50’ - ATX - Jared Stroud (Aedan Stanley)
- 54’ - ATX - Diego Fagundez (PK)
- 73’ - ATX - Cecilio Dominguez (PK)
- 86’ - DAL - Jesus Ferreira (Freddy Vargas)
- ATX - Alex Ring (Score)
- DAL - Jader Obrian (Score)
- ATX - Danny Hoesen (Miss)
- DAL - Jesus Ferreira (Score)
- ATX - Daniel Pereira (Score)
- DAL - Freddy Vargas (Score)
- ATX - Cecilio Dominguez (Save)
- DAL - Ricardo Pepi (Score)
(4-3-3, R-L) GK: Brad Stuver; Hector Jiménez (Ben Sweat 75’), Julio Cascante (Jhohan Romaña 75’), Freddy Kleemann (Matt Besler 75’), Aedan Stanley* (Nick Lima 75’); Diego Fagundez (Daniel Pereira 75’), Sebastian Berhalter (Alex Ring 75’), Luis Argudo* (Wolff HT; Tomás Pochettino 75’); Jared Stroud (Rodney Redes 75’, Daniel Steedman 83’*), Jon Gallagher (Danny Hoesen 75’), Kekuta Manneh (Cecilio Dominguez 73’)
* = trialist
WHAT WE LEARNED
- DEPTH WAS SHOWN: When the starting XI was released, it was a bit surprising to see a completely different squad from the one we saw against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. After rough first half that saw few chances created by the away side, the squad was able to get back in the game and eventually take the lead before Saturday’s starters entered. “We got four games for these guys over the course of nine or ten days so there has to be squad rotation. At some point we start formulating our starting group but these guys played 75 minutes and played their hearts out,” said Wolff.
- NO QUIT: It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason or the regular season, it would have been easy for Josh Wolff’s to move on to the next game after giving up two first-half goals. But his team came out in the second half with their hair on fire, eager to show why they should be considered for starting spots against LAFC on April 17.
- ATX ATTACK: Though it is just preseason, scoring five goals in two games is nothing to sneeze at. ATXFC will be encouraged to know that those five goals have come from five different players, again showing that Wolff has plenty of options when it comes to his attacking positions.