HIGHLIGHTS: FC Dallas vs. Austin FC | August 07, 2021
Austin deployed a rotated starting XI that left some of their top performers on the bench, but they still came tantalizingly close to scoring in the 7th minute, as they did in their first Texas rivalry match on Wednesday against Houston Dynamo FC. Jimmy Maurer got a glove to a Manny Perez shot that nearly crossed him up, then parried a Diego Fagundez free kick less than two minutes later to get some highlight-reel saves in his archive. Toward the end of the first half, the crossbar bailed out Maurer on another Fagundez free kick that hit the FCD wall on its way to danger.
FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi began to make his presence known as the first half continued, with a 25th-minute shot in front of goal that went too high, and a 33rd-minute run that forced Matt Besler into a headed clearance.
But the second half started FCD's way, as Jader Obrian and Bryan Acosta came on for the restart, followed shortly by a 50th-minute opportunity when Szabolcs Schon sent a pass toward an onrushing Hollingshead, who fired from just outside the 18 to beat an outstretched Brad Stuver. Then Austin made a highly-anticipated sub when new designated player Sebastian Driussi made his debut, alongside fellow DPs Tomas Pochettino and Cecilio Dominguez, as part of an unusual quadruple change.
That didn't deter FCD, though, as Schon got his second assist of the night in the 63rd minute, drifting to the flank and finding Ferreira at the PK spot to double the lead.
Austin wouldn't seriously threaten for the remainder of the second half, with one of their best chances coming from wingback Aedan Stanley in the 72nd minute. Pochettino had some opportunities in the dying throes of the match, but couldn't make anything of them, and Driussi got a shot attempt deep in stoppage time that hardly troubled Maurer.
- THE BIG PICTURE: FC Dallas are four straight unbeaten and back in the Western Conference playoff picture. They don’t need Ricardo Pepi to start every match, but they certainly look better with him leading the line and with Jesus Ferreira in the No. 10 slot. Sebastian Driussi made his Austin FC debut, and theoretically there’s a brighter future ahead for the team, but the club's three DPs didn’t generate much of a threat during their half-hour run. The expansion side has lost four of their last five games.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Once Ryan Hollingshead’s shot went in, the momentum swing never went back to Austin FC.
GOAL: Ryan Hollingshead, FC Dallas - 50th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Schon’s two assists were indicative of the positive play he’s enjoyed in recent matches, and capped off a great overall effort in his 70-plus minutes on the field.