WATCH: Austin FC take Supporters' Shield lead in statement win over LAFC
Ruben Gabrielsen was the unlikely scorer of the opening goal, taking a recycled Diego Fagundez corner kick and juking an LAFC defender en route to a striker's finish in the 13th minute. Fagundez had an on-a-platter chance to double the lead in the 23rd minute, but hit the crossbar for arguably the other best scoring chance of the half for either side.
Austin made late subs to go into a back five – unusual for them — after LAFC looked more threatening in the second half largely thanks to Cristian Arango's inclusion. Fagundez finally got his goal in the 80th minute, thanks to a divine assist from Sebastian Driussi, but Carlos Vela earned a PK six minutes later and caromed it off the post to pull back a goal.
As they mounted some furious late pressure in search of an equalizer, LAFC thought they had a penalty shout in second-half stoppage time when Austin FC defender Kipp Keller went into a challenge against Diego Palacios in his own area. The play went to Video Review, but the no-call on the field was upheld, allowing Austin to escape the Banc with all three points.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Austin are now atop the West and leading the Supporters' Shield race with 23 points (7W-3L-2D), coupling their win with Vancouver's comeback over FC Dallas in a landmark MLS After Dark night. The second-year club also got themselves a significant milestone: It was Verde's first-ever win in the Pacific time zone. LAFC, on the other hand, did well to stay in it when it looked like Fagundez had scored a failsafe insurance goal, but they couldn't conjure an equalizer and gave up just their first home loss of 2022.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Fagundez's goal turned out to be the match-winner, and it was set up by one of the assists of the season so far from Driussi.
WATCH: Sebastian Driussi dishes stunning assist on Diego Fagundez's goal in LAFC-Austin
Austin FC's Brad Stuver turns into a WALL against LAFC