Sebastian Driussi, making his first match appearance in more than a month, scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute and goalkeeper Brad Stuver made two stunning late saves as Austin FC outlasted visiting Minnesota United 2-1 on Wednesday in a heart-stopping MLS Western Conference match.
Driussi, last season's runner-up for league MVP, entered in the 61st minute after being out since the start of the month with a groin injury.
He was in the right place at the right time to pounce on a throw-in that pinballed through players in front of the goal before finding the way onto his left foot. Julio Cascante, the last Austin player to touch the ball, was granted an assist on the play.
Stuver turned away Minnesota's DJ Taylor and Miguel Tapias from point-blank range in the final two minutes to secure the win for Austin (5-6-4, 19 points), its third in the past four league games.
Austin struck first when Jon Gallagher found the net in the 19th minute after receiving a crossing pass from Adam Lundkvist. Lundkvist's pass from near the left sideline traveled all the way across the box and bounced once before finding Gallagher, who beat Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair in the top right corner.
The Loons (5-6-4, 19 points) answered seven minutes later. Mender Garcia got loose on a long breakaway pass and carried the ball deep into the zone. He pulled Stuver well off his line before passing to Joseph Rosales, who made short work of his chance at the wide-open goal, directing a left-footed shot into to the high center of the goal.
Minnesota had chances to break the tie late in the first half, but Stuver turned away Franco Fragapane in the 36th minute and Wil Trapp hit the right post from outside the box a minute later.
Cascante's shot was saved by St. Clair in the 44th minute and Garcia had his shot stopped by Stuver in the 45th as the teams pressed for the tiebreaker before halftime.
Austin had opportunities from Ethan Finlay and Gallagher in the 59th minute, but St. Clair was up to the task. Stuver saved a shot from Jeong Sang-Bin in the 67th minute, and the Loons' Hassani Dotson clanged a shot off the left post in the 69th minute as Minnesota pressed for the win.
Stuver was credited with six saves, while St. Clair stopped four shots.
--Field Level Media