The wrong kind of history was made as the Austin FC lost their first match at Q2 Stadium to the LAFC by a score of 2-0. It was Austin’s fourth match with home field advantage.
The Verde & Black controlled most of the match, besting LA in possession (60% to 40%), shots (14 to 12), passes (503 to 345), passing accuracy (83% to 75%) and corner kicks (9 to 3). But LA capitalized on the Austin’s mistakes and led in the only statistic that count: goals.
Jose Cifuentes found the back of the net for LA in the 39th minute. Cifuentes collected the rebound of a Brad Stuver save on Kim Moon-Hwan’s shot to find an empty net.
Diego Rossi added an insurance goal for LAFC in the 89th minute on a pass from Carlos Vela behind the Austin defenders to beat Stuver.
Austin was not without its chances.
Kekuta Manneh nearly beat LAFC goalkeeper Tomás Romero in the 19th minute, but the Romero made a solid save. Austin nearly tied the match in 73rd minute when a Zan Kolmanic pass found Diego Fagundez, but again Romero made an extraordinary stop. The Verde & Black’s final opportunity came in the 86th minute when Cecilio Domínguez contended for a loose ball in front of the net before Romero smothered it.
Commenting on the team’s performance, Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said, “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.”
Looking ahead, Wolff went on to say, “There’s lots of the season left and lots of opportunities against some teams in the future.”
Representing the players, Austin FC defender Matt Besler offered, “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.”
Austin FC next plays the Tigres UANL, the 7-time Liga MX champions, in the team’s first international friendly match on Thursday, July 13.