The Austin Aztex (12-1-2) continued their strong form at House Park and defeated the Panama City Beach Pirates 4-0 Friday evening in front of 2,481 fans.

The Aztex advance to face their division rival Laredo Heat to decide the Southern Conference Champion on Saturday, July 27. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at House Park. Laredo advanced to the title game earlier in the afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Southeast Division Champion Ocala Stampede.

The Aztex were quick to jump to a lead in the ninth minute after Aztex forward Sito Seoane collected a rebound from midfielder Tony Rocha’s shot and slid the ball past Pirates goalkeeper Sean Lewis.

Aztex forward Khiry Shelton added the second goal of the first half in the 37th minute. Aztex forward Kris Tyrpak received the ball along the right side in midfield and sent in a curling cross toward the middle of the field toward Seoane. Seoane, in an offside position, let the ball glide past him, which allowed Shelton to race past his defender to get to the ball. Shelton was alone for a one-on-one with Lewis and he juked by Lewis and emphatically hit the ball into the empty net from point blank range.

“I have to thank Paul a lot,” Shelton said on his performance with the team. “He has had patience with me. It’s different because he is having us play a certain way. I want to thank him for giving me that opportunity. “

Eager to get back into the game after halftime, the Pirates made two halftime subs. However, the Aztex defense was able to calmly retain possession of the ball and absorb the attack from the Pirates.

The Aztex put the game out of reach with their third goal in the 51st minute. This time, Shelton came up with the assist when he sent a pass toward Aztex forward Andres Cuero, who launched a powerful shot about 15 yards from goal after a strong sequence of consecutive passes.

Austin collected their fourth goal after Aztex forward Tucker Hume was pulled down for a foul in the penalty area. Aztex defender Leone Cruz calmly hit the penalty kick into the net for the goal in the 89th minute.

Austin is currently 8-0 in PDL play at House Park this season. The Aztex defeated the Laredo Heat 1-0 in their only matchup at House Park this season on May 25, but the Heat defeated Austin 1-0 later in the season in Laredo for the Aztex only loss of the season on July 3.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” Aztex forward Sito Seoane said. “They have a really good team, but both teams will be playing on back to back days. We are playing at home and we need to keep working as hard as we are.”

Box Score:

Score: Austin Aztex 4 (12-1-2) vs. Panama City Beach Pirates 0 (10-4-1)

Date: Friday, July 26, 2013

Where: House Park, Austin, Texas

Attendance: 2,481

Weather: Hot

Austin Aztex: Devin Cook, Zack Pope (Leone Cruz, 82′), Aaron Guillen, Walker Hume, Max Gunderson, Zach Garcia, Tony Rocha (Alesi Osorio, 67’), Andres Cuero (Jeff Harwell, 67’), Sito Seoane (Tucker Hume, 63’), Khiry Shelton (Jesus Cortes, 63’), Kris Tyrpak (Eddy Campbell, 63’)

Subs Not Used: John Kaschak

Panama City Beach Pirates:  Sean Lewis, Taian Souza, Josh McCrary, Mikey Lightbourne, Drew Russell, Ricardo Olivera (Robby Russell, 45’), David Mallow, Calvin Marques (Johnny Saye, 45’), Matt Raines (Will Monsour, 63’), Nasser Charif (Jason Ream, 82’), Tyler Fabian (Andrew Beasley, 71’)

Subs Not Used: Carl Blundell, Timothy Merrigan

Cautions: Drew Russell (28’), Johnny Saye (54’)

Scoring Summary:
Player:                                  Assist:                                   Minute:

ATX: Seoane                      n.a.                                          9’

ATX: Shelton                      Tyrpak                                 37’

ATX: Cuero                         Shelton                                 51’

ATX: Cruz (p.k.)                 n.a.                                        89’