Matchday

Sebastián Driussi denies Pukki party as Austin FC rout Minnesota United

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The Pukki party in Minnesota was put on hold.

While Minnesota United FC unveiled new signing Teemu Pukki off the bench in front of the Allianz Field faithful, it was Sebastián Driussi showing off his class in Austin FC’s 4-1 victory, a reminder of the influence the Argentine has on the game when healthy.

“I think he's unlucky to not have double-digit goals. I think the performances have been quite solid since he came back from his injury,” Austin FC manager Josh Wolff said postgame.

"He is the heartblood of this team. You can see what he does for us when he's now in the frontline pressing with Gyasi [Zardes], the energy that he starts to exude. He's a role model for our entire group."

Driussi struck for his first brace since the second leg of Austin’s doomed Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 ouster by Haiti’s Violette back in March while adding an assist in the big road win.

A year removed from 22g/7a and a second-place finish behind Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar in the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award race, Driussi now has six goals and three assists in 16 appearances.

Driussi doubled Austin’s lead from the penalty spot just before the stroke of halftime after Diego Fagundez gave the visitors the lead 10 minutes earlier. And then Driussi put the game away six minutes into the second half with a first-time back-post finish off an Ethan Finlay cross.

“Seba had a big night for him. He felt it, you could see he had emotion out there on the field and it excites the players,” Wolff said.

"Goals give players confidence. Confidence goes throughout an entire group. And we know we lacked some of that at the beginning of the year.”

Austin FC have secured 10 points in a four-match unbeaten run, scoring 11 goals during that stretch. Following matching emotionally-charged 3-0 Copa Tejas wins over Houston Dynamo FC and FC Dallas and a disappointing 1-1 draw at Inter Miami CF, the Verde & Black had their largest scoring output of 2023 on the road Saturday.

That’s especially important considering they next head to BC Place to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday evening (10:30 pm | MLS Season Pass).

“With Seba, it’s always nice to play next to him and see him score goals and you can tell he's a special player,” Fagundez said. “When he’s scoring goals and playing well this team does well.”