Austin FC lost at Q2 Stadium for the first time in four (4) matches in a 0-2 defeat against Los Angeles FC. José Cifuentes and Diego Rossi scored for visitors in an emotionally charged match.
Austin came out on the front foot but could not get on the scoresheet. Kekuta Manneh, making his first start for the Club, nearly opened his scoring account for the Verde & Black in the 19th minute. However, his shot was saved at the near post by LAFC goalkeeper Tomás Romero.
After that chance, LAFC began asserting its attacking prowess. In the 39th minute, LAFC’s deep pressure led to a turnover José Cifuentes converted into an empty net after Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver saved Kim Moon-Hwan’s close-range shot.
Diego Fagundez nearly leveled the score after halftime on a well-placed pass from Žan Kolmanič but Romero was again up to the task. In the 73rd minute, Austin captain Alex Ring was able to get free on a corner kick, but his header glanced wide.
Austin’s final chance came in the 86th minute when Cecilio Domínguez played in a low-hard cross off a set piece. His cross resulted in a scramble in front of the net before Romero covered.
Diego Rossi provided an insurance tally for LAFC in the 89th minute as Austin pushed numbers forward. Mexican star Carlos Vela played a ball to Rossi behind the defense, and the Uruguayan finished past Stuver.
Post Match Reactions:
Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff:
On how to get the group back together for the next upcoming match: “It’s one game so we move on pretty quickly. Again, it’s a good opponent. We had opportunities there. Again, we’ve performed really well at times and certainly here at home. Getting the guys to believe I don’t think is hard. They’ve seen what it looks like when we play and perform. [But], we are missing the final product. We’re missing goals. You're not going to be winning games if you are not scoring goals. There have been plenty of opportunities. ... That’s evident in the way we play and certainly statistically speaking, what we are able to generate and create. But we’ve got to find ways to be more ruthless and efficient in front of goal. That’s something we’ve got to continue to work on.”
On where he sees Austin FC as a team a few months from now: “I think we are going to continue to evolve. We’re 13 games in. Obviously, we are a new team but that’s not an excuse from me. We do a good job in the way we play. There’s a lot of quality. I think [regarding] execution and our performances, we’ve got to score goals. Again, that’s a big part of it. That’s individually and collectively. It’s a broken record of sorts. We’ve done enough in many of these games to come up with more and that’s the frustrating part. We’ll keep working at it. Obviously, this is a busy schedule. If you are asking how much work we put in, when you have games, it’s tough to get out on the field and do a ton of 11v11’s or bigger numbers. But, with a little bit of slow down, there will be some time to work on some things again, get everybody on the same page, and continue to move forward. There’s lots of the season left and lots of opportunities against some teams in the future.”
Austin FC Defender Matt Besler:
On LAFC and their performance tonight: “They capitalized on a couple of our mistakes. Good teams will do that and they are a good team. It’s frustrating to lose at home especially with the way the stadium has started. We’ve been blown away with the support and the atmosphere that everyone has created. The guys are disappointed in the locker room. We are disappointed with ourselves not to win the game and get points. We are also disappointed for the fans. We feel like we let them down tonight. It’s certainly something that we will improve on and we can’t wait for the next game.”
On the frustration it is to play in close matches: As a team it’s been frustrating to not capitalize on the opportunities that we’ve been creating, but we score goals as a team just like we defend as a team. That’s at the core of how we play and what we practice. It’s never just the defenders, it’s never just the attackers. The way that we play, offensively, as you can see, it starts with Brad Stuver in the back with his passing. He passes it to us, the way we want to play out with the ball. So we all feel like we are a part of everything we do, but yeah of course, there is frustration on not scoring enough goals. It’s something we need to get better at and we will, but again, scoring goals in this game is hard to do. It’s one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing to do.”
LAFC (0-1) – José Cifuentes, 39’ (unassisted)
LAFC (0-2) – Diego Rossi, 89’ (assisted by Carlos Vela)