Austin FC Clinches Home Playoff GameSeptember 17, 2022
Austin FC will play at Q2 Stadium in the first round of the playoffs. The team clinched a Western Conference postseason home game with a 1-to-1 draw with the Nashville SC.
The match saw Sebastian Driussi scored his 21st goal of the season off the 15th assist of the season by Diego Fagundez.
Commenting on Driussi’s goal, Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said, “Sebastian is good. He’s able to find goals. He’s able to contribute in a lot of ways. So, I was glad he got a goal tonight.” Wolff somewhat jokingly added, “that’s a long dry spell for him, a couple games where he didn’t score or assist.”
The match was the expected showdown between two MVP candidates, Driussi and Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar.
Mukhtar opened the scoring in the 56th minute of play, drawing a controversial penalty call against defender Jon Gallagher. Mukhtar dispatched the penalty kick with little effort.
Barely five minutes Driussi netted Fagundez’s corner kick from just outside box.
Wolff took a different approach to the starting lineup, probably the result of playing three games in eight days. Wolff went with Jhojan Valencia and Owen Wolff as the defensive midfielders, Moussa Djitte at striker, Jhohan Romana at center back, and Emiliano Rigoni and Ethan Finlay at the wings.
Wolff said, “It’s good to give those guys minutes, going into the final couple games. They need it. Hopefully those guys will see minutes in the playoffs as well.“
Fagundez, Ring and Pereira came off the bench the 59th minute, with Cascante and Urruti entering later. The tempo of the match ticked-up noticeably with these additions.
“Difficult game. Difficult night. Typical playoff game. It was choppy and chippy,“ said Wolff, commenting on the entire match. “All in all, a point was probably fair. It wasn’t a great game. I don’t think for either team. “