Rookie forward Kendall McFayden’s goal in stoppage time in his first ever league game sealed a 3-1 victory for the Austin Aztex over rival Miami FC tonight at House Park.
With the fourth victory, the Aztex won the “Battle for the Willie Nelson Guitar” – a rivalry trophy that was created this year and handed out to the winner of the season series.
The first half saw both teams able to create numerous goal scoring opportunities but only the Aztex were able to come away with a goal.
Aztex midfielder Lawrence Olum’s header off of a corner kick early in the match looked destined to be a goal, but was cleared away by a Miami defender at the last possible second.
Austin’s leading scorer Eddie Johnson almost added another tally to his total in the 26th minute, but his strong effort was denied by Miami FC goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, who was able to deflect the ball away from danger.
In the 29th minute Miami became the aggressor when Aztex defender Yohance Marshall slipped up just past half field. Miami FC’s Mike Randolph then took the ball toward the goal, but a speedy Marshall was able catch up and tackle the ball away from Randolph before the attacker was able to get off a quality shot.
Miami created another good chance in the 33rd minute when it was able to push the ball through the middle of the pitch and out to the left edge of the 18- yard box. There the Miami attacker struck a hard shot, but Austin goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo reacted quick enough to make the save.
In the 44th minute, defender Leonard Griffin played a fantastic ball across the field to the head of Johnson who was standing all alone on the edge of the Miami six-yard box. Johnson was able to head the ball back across the goal leaving the Miami keeper with no chance of making the save.
The goal was his ninth of the season.
It didn’t take long for the Aztex to get another one. In the 47th minute, Aztex midfielder Jamie Watson beat his defender down the line and played a ball across the Miami six-yard box to Olum whose half-volley effort was enough to get past a diving Patterson-Sewell.
Miami’s goal in the 75th minute came when forward Abe Thompson powered home a shot passed Gallardo.
Miami’s forward Stefan Jerome played a ball to the penalty spot where Miami’s leading goal scorer Paulo Araujo Jr. was standing. Araujo ripped a shot towards goal but Gallardo was able to deflect the ball away from goal. An unlucky bounce saw Gallardo’s effort go to waste as the ball bounced to a wide open Thompson who buried the ball into the back of net.
Austin was able to put the game away in extra time when McFayden scored the first goal of his young career in the first career appearance.
Aztex midfielder Yordany Alvarez found McFayden streaking behind the Miami backline. McFayden took one touch to his right and then slotted the ball back across to the far post beating Patterson-Sewell. McFayden’s stoppage time goal sealed the game for the first-place Aztex.
Austin will be back in action next week when it takes on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. on August 7 at House Park.