The Loons got a goal less than 10 minutes into the match — and almost immediately after Nick Lima was an early sub out for Austin FC — when Fragapane got on the end of a Romain Metanire pass and hammered it home for the lead and his second goal in as many games in a Loons jersey. The relatively recent Argentine acquisition then hooked up with fellow newcomer Hunou on a corner-kick goal in the 18th minute to double the home side's lead.
While the first half had some chances for Austin, most notably a 31st-minute Diego Fagundez shot from distance that Tyler Miller was just able to meet at the far post, it was dominated by the Loons, judging by the stat sheet and the eyeball test.
The second half threatened to start with more of the same, with Fragapane getting off a good attempt at a second goal less than a minute after play resumed, on a shot that smacked the crossbar. Austin FC continued to battle, with Brad Stuver getting a key save on a Niko Hansen shot to keep the deficit to two, and then Fagundez nearly engineered an own-goal in the 59th minute by making an end-line run and caroming the ball off Bakaye Dibassy.
But Austin looked to run out of gas shortly after that chance creation, and some late-game subs came in for both sides to get some reps ahead of their weekend matches.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Maybe those Minnesota-to-MLS Cup picks don’t look so bad now after all? There’s still a hill to climb for the Loons, but this makes five straight results following the four-game losing streak that started the season, and they’re right at the cusp of the playoff places. For Austin, Lima going down may mean that a squad stretched thin with injuries is even more stretched ahead of a return home against Columbus on Sunday.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It only took one goal to win this match, and Fragapane delivered emphatically with a shot that rocked the roof of the net.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: With a goal and an assist on the night — and chances to get a couple more — Fragapane looks like he might be able to fill the void that Kevin Molino left when he moved to Columbus in the offseason. If he gets fully in synch with Reynoso over the next few matches, the Loons could return to 2020 Playoff Loons form.