AUSTIN — FC Dallas went unbeaten in the all-time series against new rival Austin FC but dropped points for the first time, leaving a 2-0 lead as Austin rallied to tie 2-2 .
FCD have won all three team meetings in 2021, Austin’s inaugural season in MLS.
“It feels like we lost the game. That’s how we feel in the locker room because we wanted to win here. That’s our mentality,” FC Dallas coach Nico Estévez said after the match. match. “We wanted to win for the fans. A lot of them came here. We saw a lot of red shirts and felt so supported. We wanted to play with passion and give it our all. I think the guys have everything. done, but it’s just about learning from those little mistakes that we made to not close the game and win away.
FCD took the lead in the 58th minute with Paul Arriola starting and finishing the game. As the game plan demanded, Arriola pressed an Austin FC defender in possession.
Seeing Arriola shut him down led to Austin left-back Jon Gallagher making a bad pass which FCD quickly converted into a dangerous attack when midfielder Facundo Quignon found Paxton Pomykal in the box. Pomykal’s shot was blocked, but Arriola followed and tapped the rebound into the net for the opener.
The second goal of the night also saw a player start and complete the move with substitute Brandon Servania on the scoresheet. He played a pass from midfield to Pomykal and charged into the box, his efforts being rewarded after Pomykal found Alan Velasco, whose through ball bounced off Servania. His high shot at the near post beat Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver and doubled FCD’s lead.
But the last moments of the match will be nervous for the FCD after a goal from Sebastian Driussi in the 71st minute. An attack from FCD fizzled and Austin quickly sent a long ball towards striker Moussa Djitté. He was able to hold off center back Jose Martinez and find Austin’s leading scorer, who did the rest by sending in a right-footed shot.
A pair of substitutes quickly paid for Austin FC manager Josh Wolff as the home side continued the game. A through ball released Nick Lima, as a backup right-back, to put a cross into the box and striker Danny Hoesen dove to put his head on it and send the equalizer past FCD goalkeeper Maarten Paes .
“We’re disappointed with the result, disappointed with how we handled the last 10 minutes or so,” Arriola said. “I really think we deserved better after leading 2-0. It’s been a theme when we drop these types of tracks. We have to improve. We have to understand it. We need to understand and be able to deal with teams that are throwing numbers, especially late in games where they are just throwing numbers and have nothing to lose.
Although frustrating for FCD, a draw could have been the right result after what has been a fairly even game between two clubs who have made big strides forward this year after disappointing campaigns last term.
Austin had a first half chance in the 10th minute, when Austin midfielder Alex Ring headed a free kick into a crowded area, but Paes recovered the shot quickly to avoid conceding.
FCD had their first clear chance six minutes later. Paxton Pomykal sent a pass to Alan Velasco and charged from midfield, collecting the ball but sending his shot wide of Stuver’s far post.
Pomykal combined with the left winger again in the 21st minute, this time with Arriola floating on that side. This time Pomykal tried to cut the ball from the goal line but the ball was cleared for Arriola to attempt a shot which Stuver saved at his near post.
Just before the halftime break, FCD found themselves on their heels as Austin attacked through Driussi then had a long-range shot from Felipe but both were deflected before scoring.
The second half saw both teams with dangerous moments but neither could break through to Arriola’s goal.
Arriola tried to set up a second goal just before Servania’s effort, firing in a low cross at the feet of Jesus Ferreira, but the pass was interrupted before it could reach the FCD striker.
In the closing stages of the match, FCD had the chance to maintain their perfect record with Franco Jara cheating a cross into the box and firing a shot as Stuver moved off his line to block it. Instead, Jara’s shot beat the keeper but escaped just wide of the far post.
FCD now remains on the road, with an early return for a game against the conference’s top team, Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday.
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