AC St. Louis made its first visit to Austin, Texas Saturday evening for a contest with the Austin Aztex. The Aztex, who lead USSF D2 in points and goals scored, had too much firepower and defeated AC St. Louis 2-0 at House Park.
The first half of the contest was dominated by the Aztex, who came out with guns blazing. This is a team that has many attacking options. Early on, the Aztex’ Lance Watson made a nice cross that was just a tad long for USSF D2 second leading goal scorer Eddie Johnson. AC St. Louis Alec Dufty came up big, after receiving a yellow card thwarting another Aztex’ chance. The Aztex were awarded a penalty kick, and the Duftman came up big, diving to his right to deflect Eddie Johnson’s low penalty shot to safety. The Aztec kept applying pressure though and barely missed on a Yordany Alvarex cross to Johnson. After a half hour, though, the Aztex broke through, as they were awarded a second penalty kick, as Jeff Cosgriff of AC St. Louis was redcarded for a handball in the box. This time, Dufty couldn’t stop the penalty kick, as Jamie Watson scored his sixth goal of the season. Dufty was called upon to make another fine save around the 41st minute, and the Aztex missed a chance to double the score Maxwell Griffin headed just over the AC St. Louis goal off a corner kick. Shortly later, AC St. Louis captain Jack Traynor saved a goal when he cleared a chip from Eddie Johnson off the goaline that had beaten Dufty, and the Aztex went into intermission with a 1-0 lead.
AC St. Louis in the second half had the daunting task of trying to win being a man down against the best offense in USSF D2 on the road. Coach Dale Schilly made liberal use of his substitutes, as Ryan Moore, John Lesko, Elvir Kafedzic and Alex Titton came in — Brad Stisser came in during the first half when Chris Salvaggione took a hard knock and was stretchered off the field. And although AC St. Louis made a game effort, the Aztex were able to double the lead in the 69th minute on a Maxwell Griffin goal. Being a man down in the 90-plus degree Texas heat was too tall of an order for the Saints to overcome, although they did force Aztex goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo into making some good saves on some hard, long-range shots.
AC St. Louis missed midfielder Gauchinho tonight, who took a pretty good knock in Wednesday’s Minnesota game. His ability to possess the ball and string passes together while breaking up attacks up the middle was difficult to replace. Cosgriff’s ejection doomed the team, although the way the Aztex pressed the game from early on left little doubt that they would be difficult to beat. Coach Adrian Heath’s team has an abundance of offensive talent, and Alec Dufty played well to keep the game close. AC St. Louis continues its road trip with a Wednesday evening match in Montreal, then plays next Saturday in Baltimore before returning to AB Soccer Park for a matchup with the Portland Timbers on Wednesday July 28.
AC St. Louis Starting Lineup: Dufty, Bloom, Velten, Traynor, Bauer, O’Garro, Cosgriff, Cole, Kreamalmeyer, Ambersley, Salvaggione
Filed under: AC St. Louis, Austin Aztex, NASL General News, USSF Division 2 News, Website News | Tagged: AC St. Louis, Adrian Heath, Alec Dufty, Austin Aztex, Dale Schilly, Jamie Watson, Maxwell Griffin |