Back-to-back goals by Gyasi Zardes and Ethan Finlay gave the Austin FC an early lead, as they went on to defeated the Sporting KC, 2-t0-1.
Both of Austin’s goals were high quality. Jon Gallagher launched a brilliant cross to set up Zardes from close in for the first score. And less than two minutes later, Finlay right-footed an impressive cross by Diego Fagundez to find the back of the net.
“There have been a lot of impressive wins at this stadium. A lot. This was one of them. For me, what it showed for the character of the human spirit, for the mentality, the willingness to suffer, to succeed, was incredible,” said Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff.
Sporting KC’s Dany Rosero responded at the 33rd minute mark, heading a corner kick from Daniel Salloi to beat goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
Austin dominated the first half, but that control waned as the heat took it’s told on the road weary host.
“This heat is like no other heat,” said Wolff. “It’s challenging, you can see the tempo drop.”
“Tonight was a massive,” said Wolff. “We need to rest; we need to recover.” “We got some big guys that are going to be out, and we got to find ways to push forward.”
Emiliano Rigoni, Alex Ring, Leo Väisänen and Zan Kolmanic didn’t play, defensive midfielder Dani Pereira left with a shoulder injury in the 11th minute, and Driussi exited just before halftime as a precautionary measure, experiencing some tightness.
Wolff was complimentary of the players, acknowledging Maxi Urruti, Jhojan Valencia, Owen, and Jon Gallagher for stand-up performances. He paid high high praise to Owen Wolff and Dani Pereira, saying, “they are the engineer room of our team”