Austin thought they had a goal in the third minute via Sebastian Driussi, but the potential opener was wiped off the slate on an offside call confirmed via Video Review, with Cecilio Dominguez appearing caught out in the buildup before his would-be assist.
LAFC then pressured the Verde backline, getting eight shots to ATX’s three in the opening 45. The Black & Gold’s best chance came on a 24th-minute Cristian Arango shot that Brad Stuver did well to save, and he might have scored the opener late in the half had Jose Cifuentes played him in on goal a little truer.
The game pivoted in the 55th minute when Kim Moon-Hwan fired a ball into the box that caught Diego Fagundez’s outstretched arm inside the box. Video Review confirmed the infraction, and Arango got Stuver to guess wrong for what finally emerged as the opening goal.
But then Fagundez rode a 12-minute redemption arc, getting the equalizer in the 67th minute. He ran behind Dominguez as the Paraguayan clanged a shot off the post, and followed it up with the sure finish to trigger celebrations in the Verde Wall.
Austin came agonizingly close to a go-ahead goal in the 77th minute on an upfield break, but the final ball from Alex Ring trundled just wide.
Then Mukovski rode his own mini redemption arc, fouling Nick Lima and getting a yellow card on a sequence just three minutes after subbing on. Following the foul, Stuver came out of his box and pursued the striker, eventually closing in on him with the referee close between them. Then, just two minutes after that heated exchange, Cifuentes sent Mukovski through on goal to definitively put his stamp on the match.
Austin chased for an equalizer in the seven minutes of stoppage time, which included Moussa Djitte getting involved in the action, but the visitors were able to close things out.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The road win puts LAFC above the playoff line and very possibly into the “peak at the right time” zone that we’ve seen from MLS Cup contenders in the past. Though there’s still a keen battle for playoff places, the Black & Gold are increasingly looking like they’ll be playing deep into November. For Austin, this was a cruel loss given that they looked up for it in the second half, but a loss it is — their fourth straight, and their tenth in the last 12.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The winning goal was all the more dramatic given the fire between Musovski and Stuver just moments earlier.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Musovski got the match-winner, Arango netted the opener and continued to show his quality from the start, running at Austin’s backline and generating chances.