Verde Blowout: Austin dominate LAFC 4-1 behind great second half

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AUSTIN – It was the appointment television game of the weekend in Major League Soccer. Austin FC hosting LAFC. Friday night. National TV game. The favorites for the Supporters’ Shield against the second best team in the Western Conference.

Verde Blowout: Austin dominate LAFC 4-1 in second half

The first half was energetic with Austin having the better of the play, galvanized by the home crowd. At the half hour mark, they opened the scoring. Diego Fagundez took a free kick over Sebastian Driussi, bending it past Maxime Crépeau and in.

Emotions boiled over on 40 minutes. Maxi Urruti and Jesús Murillo collided chasing down a ball that went out for an LAFC throw in. Urruti went down hard then went after Murillo, who went down easy on contact. Crépeau came over to the sideline to confront the striker and players from both teams gathered and got feisty. In the end, Fagundez, Urruti, and Crépeau were all card.

Verde put that behind them and balled out from the start of the second half. Two minutes in, Urruti scored on a set piece with a floating header to the far post to make it 2-0. He had gone six games without a goal. Then in the 51st minute, LAFC had a sloppy turnover at midfield. Eventually Urruti beat Ryan Hollingshead on the ball and rounded the keeper to score.

Driussi finally got his goal on transition in the 59th. It was his 19th goal of the MLS season. LAFC manager Steve Cherundolo made a triple sub with the blowout on. Cristian Arango scored on a rebound to make it 4-1.

Arango later had shouts for a penalty for being pulled from behind in the box, but nothing was called. It was on a transition play that ended in him hitting the post with a shot as he went to ground. The match ended 4-1.

Three Thoughts on Austin LAFC:

Urruti breaks his duck: It was clap back night for Maxi Urruti. He reveled in the confrontation at the end of the first half. Two great finishes and he scores for the first time in a month and a half. He led the way to the win and score line.

Verde makes a statement: LAFC are still favorites to win the Shield. It’s probably theirs to lose. But this was a statement in for Austin. They can outplay anyone in this league. And they are a good and balanced team that can win big games. Driussi didn’t show up on the score sheet till the fourth goal. This team is an MLS Cup contender. No question.

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