Austin FC Erases 0-2 Deficit for “Entertaining” Draw Against FC Dallas

Late goals from Driussi, Hoesen yield 2-2 finish

Striker Danny Hoesen celebrates scoring the tying goal for Austin FC in a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas. See John Anderson's photo gallery for more from the match. (Photo by John Anderson)

The Chicago Bears just can’t seem to figure out Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers. The New York Jets were hopeless against Tom Brady’s New England Patriots. And don’t even get me started on the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals.

At what point is a rivalry too one-sided to really be a rivalry? I was beginning to ask myself that question late in Saturday’s match between Austin FC and FC Dallas at Q2 Stadium with the Verde and Black trailing 0-2 to their Copa Tejas rivals to the north, the same ones that comfortably defeated Austin FC in all three matchups in 2021.

Then some beer splash hit the press box window.

Austin FC scored twice in the final 20 minutes – Sebastián Driussi in the 72nd minute and Danny Hoesen in the 85th – to salvage a 2-2 draw and keep the I-35 rivalry healthy and intact. “I feel like it was an entertaining game; I feel both teams pushed each other,” said Austin FC coach Josh Wolff. “And I think, as the game went on, I think we flexed our muscle and really showed we could cause problems.”

Wolff said his club “gift wrapped” both goals to FC Dallas, which is not entirely fair, but point taken. The Toros came to Q2 with a clear game plan: Let Austin FC possess the ball as much as it wants, and when they eventually turn it over, let loose the dynamic front three of Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola, and Alan Velasco on the counterattack.

Jon Gallagher offered up the first mistake in the 58th minute, losing the ball in his own half to Arriola, who eventually finished things off on the rebound after Brad Stuver saved the initial shot by Paxton Pomykal. Ten minutes later, FC Dallas sliced and diced its way through the Verde defenses on a gorgeous counterattack, which did include some missed tackling from ATX. Substitute midfielder Brandon Servania nutmegged Julio Cascante in the box and elevated his shot above the reach of Stuver to double the Dallas lead.

When Wolff says his club “flexed our muscle,” he very well may be referring to one man: Moussa Djitté. The stocky striker from Senegal entered the match in the second half and proceeded to terrorize the FC Dallas defense for a half hour. In the 72nd minute, “The Moose” charged straight up the center of the pitch, dumped the ball off for Driussi, who scored his league co-leading ninth goal of the season to halve the deficit.

Then, in the closing stages, Hoesen got a strong head to an accurate cross from Nick Lima, guiding the ball past Dallas keeper Maarten Paes for the equalizing score. “We played them three times last year and lost every game … this year we feel the mentality that we can come back,” Hoesen said.

Over the last two weeks, Austin FC has shown an ability to dig itself out of a hole and come out clean on the other side. The trick going forward, starting Thursday night on the road against Charlotte FC, will be to avoid falling into the hole to begin with.

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Austin FC, Danny Hoesen, FC Dallas, Sebastián Driussi, Moussa Djitté, Brad Stuver

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