The sold-out crowd of 20,738 fans surely would’ve erupted in the 10th minute had midfielder Diego Fagundez’s flicked-on header found the net. He rose highest on a cross from left back Zan Kolmanic, though San Jose goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski scrambled to paw away the effort.
The Earthquakes looked threatening in the first half on the left flank, especially when MLS goal king Chris Wondolowski forced goalkeeper Brad Stuver into a strong save in the 41st minute. Stuver got low to his left, then Austin cleared their lines before Cristian Espinoza could slam home the rebound. Episonza also hit the outside of the right post in the 36th minute with a powerful effort, going inches from spoiling the party.
Austin built second-half momentum when Alex Ring’s left-footed shot in the 63rd minute and Jon Gallagher’s snapped header in the 66th minute threatened San Jose’s defensive lines. But each time, Marcinkowski stood tall to add to the hosts’ frustration.
San Jose nearly snagged a game-winning goal in the 83rd minute, yet Stuver scurried to his right and kept out Carlos Fierro’s curling attempt. The attack was spearheaded by Cade Cowell, and the homegrown forward slammed the breaks before laying off for Fierro’s supporting run.
Stuver was immense in producing back-to-back saves on the cusp of second-half stoppage time, diving to his left both times. He first kept out Espizona’s left-footed blast to the near post, then pushed wide a goal-bound header from Oswaldo Alanis to ensure Austin came away from their big night with a point.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Austin FC spent their first eight games on the road, anxiously awaiting Q2 Stadium’s introduction. They’ll wish the return home included three points, though that’ll come in due time for the expansion side. Solving their persistent goalscoring issues will certainly help. San Jose also snapped their four-game losing streak, a stabilizing result for Matias Almeyda’s team after the June international break.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Without a goal, we’re turning to the tifo Austin FC’s fans raised before kickoff. Check it out below.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: As has often been the case during the 2021 MLS season, Brad Stuver was Austin FC’s hero. He finished with nine saves for the second straight game.