Austin FC 3-2 Houston Dynamo: Verde and Black take inaugural Copa Tejas derby
Photo: Aaron E. Martinez/El Paso Incorporated

Austin FC picked up a key win as they defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-2 in the first edition of the Copa Tejas derby at the Q2 Stadium.

Tomas Pochettino gave the Verde and Black a seventh-minute lead. Houston was down to ten men as Darwin Ceren was sent off, but the Dynamo managed to square things up through Tyler Pasher.

Pochettino struck for the second time just before halftime and Cecilo Dominguez added a third before Fafa Picault pulled one back late, but the hosts saw the match out for their first win in four league matches. 

Story of the match

The Dynamo had the first chance of the game in the fifth minute. Tyler Pasher got free on the wing and cut inside to open a shot for himself. His defender stayed in front and instead of taking a shot he slotted a perfect pass to Joe Corona, who could’ve one touched the ball into the net, but instead his shot was poorly hit and went well wide and high.

A few minutes later, Austin opened the scoring. A ball was played into Jon Gallagher, who tried to make a play on it, but yielded to the onrushing Pochettino, whose shot ricocheted off the side post, into Zarek Valentin and then into the goal.

Houston was reduced to ten men in the 20th minute Cerén earned himself a straight red card after fouling Sebastian Berhalter, the Salvadoran got his elbow up and nailed him in the face. Referee Joseph Dickerson gave Ceren his marching orders.

Despite being down a man, the visitors levelled. A poor pass out of the back by Austin saw Matias Vera get possession in a dangerous spot. He threaded a ball to Corey Baird, whose shot that was deflected off of Verde and Black goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Pasher one touched the rebound into the net to make it 1-1.

Austin re-took just before halftime. A ball was sent in and it was headed wide to Diego Fagundez, whose near post shot was saved by goalkeeper Marko Maric, but the rebound fell right to Pochettino who put the ball in the back of the net.

The hosts nearly added to their lead early into the second half with Fagúndez having a go inside the 18 yard box. His low shot was towards the far post, but Marić was able to save to keep Houston in the game.

However, a poor giveaway saw an excellent sequence of passing put Austin up in the 56th minute. Fagúndez had an overlapping run and sent in a perfect cross to Dominguez, who headed the ball in to make it 3-1.

The Dynamo would pull one back in the 86th minute. After pressure by Griffin Dorsey, Stuver made a poor pass in the back that went right to Picault. The American managed to score even as he was under pressure.

Man of the match: Tomas Pochettino

As Austin's first designated player, much is expected of the Argentine and in a key match that could help start the Verde and Black's turnaround, he delivered with two goals and had plenty of chances for a third.