(Photo credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports)
Sebastian Driussi played through a lingering groin injury to score a goal and an assist, while Will Bruin and Matt Hedges also found the net as Austin FC rolled past visiting D.C. United 3-0 Wednesday in a key late-season match.
The victory emphatically snapped a 10-match winless streak in combined Leagues Cup and MLS play for the Verde (10-14-8, 38 points), the longest run without a victory in club history. It was Austin's first win since July 15 and keeps their flagging chance for a postseason berth on life support with two regular season matches to play.
D.C. United (9-14-10, 37 points) would need to beat New York City FC in its final match on Saturday and have NYCFC and Montreal lose its remaining matches to have a chance at a playoff berth for the first time since 2019. D.C. United is idle on Oct. 28, the final date of the regular season.
Austin FC put together its most cohesive first half in months, scoring twice in the initial 21 minutes to grab ahold of the match.
First, Bruin ran into the goalmouth for a dead-on chipped pass into the box by Driussi in the 11th minute before heading the ball into the top-right corner past United goalkeeper Alex Bono to give the Verde the early lead.
Austin added to the lead in the 21st minute as Driussi stood unmarked dead in front of Bono, took a pass from Alexander Ring and easily beat the D.C. United keeper to the bottom left corner of the net.
D.C. attempted to cut into the lead in the 28th minute when Christian Benteke tested Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver at the bottom-left corner, but Stuver stuck out his right leg at the last instant to deflect away the shot and keep United off the board.
The Verde expanded their lead to 3-0 in the 64th minute as Hedges wheeled and put his head on a pass into the box by Emiliano Rigoni that beat Bono to the bottom-right corner.
It was the sixth time this season, and second time in the past three matches, that Austin scored at least three goals.
--Field Level Media