MLS: Gyasi Zardes scores twice as Austin FC edge NYCFC

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Gyasi Zardes recorded a brace, with the second goal in the 69th minute proving to be the game-winner, as host Austin FC outlasted New York City FC 2-1 on Saturday in the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Zardes’ goals were his first of the season and gave him 105 for his career, moving him past Dwayne De Rosario and into 10th place on the MLS list.

Austin (8-8-6, 30 points) won for the second time in its past three matches and moved into ninth place in the Western Conference standings

NYCFC (11-9-2, 35 points) had a two-game win streak snapped. The Pigeons have not won on the road since beating New England 1-0 on May 25. They have lost three matches since and scored just one goal in that span. New York dropped to fifth place in the East.

The start of the match was delayed due to lightning in the area and played with intermittent rain throughout.

Once the contest began, NYCFC quickly went to the offensive, with Andres Perea taking a dead-on crossing pass from Tayvon Gray from the right wing in the fifth minute and easily slipping the ball into the net past Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Hannes Wolf also garnered an assist for starting the scoring play.

Austin leveled the match on Zardes’ header from point-blank range in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time.

The play began with a long pass from the middle of the field by Alexander Ring to Jader Obrian on the left wing. When Obrian was given room, he crossed a high ball to Zardes, who beat NYCFC defender Strahinja Tanasijevic to the ball before heading it past New York keeper Matt Freese.

New York was the aggressor through the first 20 minutes of the second half, producing shots on target from Mitja Ilenic in the 48th minute, Alonso Martinez in the 51st and Wolf in the 60th that all forced Stuver into saves.

All of that changed when Zardes scored again, giving Austin the lead on a rebound of his own shot from the right side of the box after an assist from Owen Wolff.

–Field Level Media

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