For the second week in a row, Sporting KC scored three goals before halftime.
But a loss of control in the second half of Saturday night’s game at Austin FC sealed the visitors’ fate as the tenacious hosts turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 victory over an underdog Sporting side. shock.
“We just lose focus on the three set pieces which puts us in a draw,” said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes. “That’s basically it. Then they score their fourth goal because, again, we’re sleeping at the back. Unfortunately, it’s a lack of focus on the big moments of the game.
Sporting (6-15-5) led early thanks to an unlikely goal from defender Andreu Fontás, who slammed a rebound from a free kick. It was Fontas’ third Major League Soccer goal.
Sporting doubled the lead through Willy Agada, who had enough on the rebound from an attempt by Roger Espinoza to put the ball past Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
The pass Graham Zusi played to Spring Espinoza for the initial shot was incredible and represented the second week in a row that Zusi has created a goal.
Austin picked one up when Cam Gallagher fired a low, hard shot into tight space to catch Sporting goalkeeper John Pulskamp off guard. With the score 2-1, Sporting scored their third goal when Erik Thommy was fouled in the box – captain Johnny Russell converted the penalty to make it 3-1.
That was the score at halftime.
But Austin got another goal in the 63rd minute when Julio Cascante converted a bizarre deflection. And the hosts continued to impose their control from there, both in possession and in terms of chances.
Austin FC star and Major League Soccer top scorer Sebastian Driussi scored the winning goal in the 94th minute.
Sporting’s best chance in the second half came from Agada, who could have made it 4-1 at one point. Instead, Austin got the equalizer when Ben Sweat failed to jump in with the rest of his defensive line and kept Danny Hoesen to his side for a home volley.
“The third was total laziness on our part, the equalizer,” Vermes said. “Whoever group is last is supposed to get to the top of the box and keep the (Austin) players offside. It would have been offside and it wouldn’t have been a goal. We let’s not go out, he’s free and he gets a free shot.
Not only did the lack of a consistent backline and the offside trap frustrate Vermes, but also the lack of reaction to the play, whether or not the players thought he was offside.
“First, we’re not dating,” Vermes said. “Second, if you’re not going out, at least go win a ball in the air. The guy lets the ball go over his head and he hits it with a side volley. This means the ball is about three feet off the ground. We don’t have anyone who can’t clear the ball at that height.
For Sporting KC, it was a lost opportunity, that’s for sure. Sporting will try to get back on track next Sunday, August 21, with a 6:30 p.m. game against the Portland Timbers.
This story was originally published August 13, 2022 10:09 p.m.