Austin FC fans headed into the MLS home tilt against the Colorado Rapids with more confidence than in the previous matches. That’s because the last time the two teams matched up in Colorado, Austin convincingly delivered a 3-1 win, the first victory in franchise history.
On Saturday night at Q2 Stadium, the hometown fans thought they might be seeing history repeat itself as Colorado jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first half on an Andre Shinyashiki goal, the same scenario that happened back in April. However, this time around, the Austin offense failed to respond in the second half and instead extended its streak of futility, losing 1-0.
Austin FC made club history earning first win last time teams met
Expectations weren’t exactly high when Austin FC visited Colorado for the second game in franchise history after losing the opener against LAFC 2-0. At the close of the first half in the Rockies, it didn’t look promising for the visitors as Colorado’s Andre Shinyashiki scored the lone goal of the half and gave the Rapids a 1-0 lead headed into the break.
In the second half, Austin’s Diego Fagundez etched his name in history in the 60th minute when Jared Stroud’s delivery from the right wing was deflected, landed at his feet, and the veteran deftly one-timed it into the back of the net. It was the first of several.
Just a few minutes later, Austin’s first-ever designated player, Cecilio Dominguez, curled a shot past the Rapids goalkeeper just inside the far post, and the club claimed its first lead in franchise history. Four minutes later, Dominguez showed his class when he started a break with a skilled deflection to Zan Kolmanic, and then moments later one-timed another loose ball at the top of the box to the near post for a brace and a 3-1 Austin lead.
Austin held on for the final 20 minutes plus stoppage time and sealed the franchise’s first-ever victory.
First half eerily reminiscent of first meeting
In front of a capacity crowd at Q2 Stadium, Austin was on the front foot for the early part of the game, with Dominguez coming the closest to scoring on a Colorado turnover just outside the 18-yard box in the first 10 minutes.
However, it was Colorado that opened the scoring in the 29th minute, when the Rapids capitalized on an errant pass that deflected off Austin’s Julio Cascante straight to the feet of Shinyashiki, who directed it into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead, eerily reminiscent of the first meeting.
Austin had its best opportunity to answer in the 36th minute when Hector Jimenez picked up a Rapids turnover and delivered a cross perfectly into the box, but captain Alex Ring headed it just over the top of the goal.
Austin FC offense eerily reminiscent of most of the season
Austin, once again, came out the aggressor to start the second half and generated several chances, including a couple of opportunities on corner kicks. However, as has become all too familiar for the Verde and Black, the offense in the final third has been nearly non-existent. The team failed to score for the 11th time this season and lost 1-0.
After getting blanked again, which makes Austin the league’s worst scoring offense with 10 goals in 15 games, head coach Josh Wolff expressed his frustration and acknowledged something has to change.
“We’re at a real low moment here,” Wolff bluntly admitted. “You’ve got to look at yourself. We as a staff will look at ourselves and certainly look at some of the structural things that we can change and some of the formations and how we finish attacks.”
Wolff and his team don’t have long to get things turned around as they face their first Texas derby on Wednesday night hosting the Houston Dynamo.