Maximiliano Urruti scored a clever goal in the 58th minute that proved to be all Austin FC needed in a 1-0 victory over visiting Minnesota United FC on Sunday.
The win was the third for Austin FC (3-1-2, 11 points), which took until its 12th match last season, its inaugural campaign, to reach that number of victories. Minnesota (2-2-2) dropped its second straight.
Urruti’s goal was part deception, part flawless execution. He went down in the box after a hard tackle by Minnesota’s Bakaye Dibassy and was still on the ground as the ball was cleared outside the 18-yard area.
Hector Jimenez got control of the ball just as Urruti was getting up, and Jimenez threaded a pass to his teammate, who volleyed the shot to the left of surprised Loons keeper Dayne St. Clair and into the net.
Urruti had another excellent chance to score in the 77th minute, but his shot over St. Clair was cleared off the line by Minnesota defender Michael Boxall.
The Loons nearly knotted the match in the 82nd minute as Bongokuhle Hlongwane’s shot off a corner kick by Emanuel Reynoso was blocked on the goal line by Austin’s Diego Fagundez.
Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver stopped the only shot he faced to record his second clean sheet of the season and the eighth of his MLS career.
The overall statistics were owned by the home side, with Austin outpossessing Minnesota 57.6 percent to 42.4 percent, outshooting the Loons 11-9, racking up 497 total passes to 358 and earning an 83.5 percent to 77.6 percent edge on passing accuracy.
–Field Level Media