The Austin Aztex overcame a two-goal deficit with three unanswered goals en route to a 3-2 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Sunday at Thunderbird Stadium. It was the season finale for both sides.
Kris Tyrpak’s 85th-minute header served as the winner. Tony Rocha had the equalizer and Romain Gall started the rally for the Aztex, who moved past Arizona United SC to finish ninth in the Western Conference standings at 10-15-3 (33 points).
Brett Levis scored two second-half goals to lead the way for WFC2, which wraps up the season at 8-14-6 (30 points).
The opening half featured some back-and-forth play, with Vancouver providing more of the clear-cut chances. In the 11th minute, Aztex goalkeeper Cody Laurendi made an alert save to turn away a Tyler Rosenlund shot.
WFC2 thought it had the game’s opening goal in the 21st minute when Victor Blasco made a run in the middle. Austin’s back line stepped up just enough as the flag went up. Blasco slotted it home, but the strike did not count.
The best opportunity of the first half came in the 35th minute. Austin’s defense coughed up the ball and some confusion brought Laurendi well off of his line. Vancouver’s Caleb Clarke nearly was the beneficiary and he ripped a shot toward the frame, only to see Austin defender Sergio Campbell head it away to keep the score level at 0-0.
Vancouver garnered its first goal early in the second half when Levis’ left-footed shot from approximately 30 yards out found the upper right corner of the frame to take a 1-0 lead.
Then in the 58th minute, Levis won the ball on the right flank, dribbled in and slotted low past Laurendi to take a 2-0 advantage.
Gall and the Aztex started to make things interesting in the 66th minute. From the left side with his back to the goal, Gall turned counterclockwise with his right foot and snapped a shot just inside the left post to cut Vancouver’s lead to 2-1.
Gall nearly found the equalizer in the 73rd minute, but Vancouver goalkeeper Spencer Richey got his left glove up to deflect the ball enough that it ricocheted off the right post.
Austin’s persistence paid off in the 80th minute as Rocha scored off a rebound to tie the score 2-2.
In the 85th minute, Tyrpak completed the comeback win as he headed the ball in off a precision cross from Mozzi Gyorio from the left side to take a 3-2 lead.
Laurendi made a clutch save in the third minute of stoppage time to preserve the Austin victory in a chaotic finish.
Score: Austin Aztex 3 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 2
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2015
Where: UBC Thunderbird Stadium, Vancouver, Canada
Austin Aztex: Cody Laurendi, Lance Rozeboom, Sergio Campbell, Mikey Ambrose, Max Gunderson (Bryce Taylor, 73′), Andres Cuero, Tony Rocha, Mozzi Gyorio (Ryan Roushandel, 89′), Romain Gall (Brendan King, 89′), Kris Tyrpak (Drew Yates, 89′), Trevin Caesar (Sainey Touray, 63′)
Subs Not Used: n.a.
Cautions: Ambrose (59′)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2: Spencer Richey, Sahil Sandhu, Jackson Farmer, Christian Dean (Thomas Gardner, 59′), Jordan Haynes, Tyler Rosenlund, Will Seymore, Andre Lewis (Kadin Chung, 59′), Brett Levis (Billy Schuler, 70′), Victor Blasco (Mackenzie Pridham, 76′), Caleb Clarke (Jovan Blagojevic, 85′)
Subs Not Used: Marco Carducci, Delkan Wynne
Cautions: Lewis (40′), Seymore (49′)
VAN: Levis, 47′ (n.a.)
VAN: Levis, 58′ (n.a.)
ATX: Gall, 66′ (n.a.)
ATX: Rocha, 80′ (n.a.)
ATX: Tyrpak, 84′ (Mozzi)