Sporting Kansas City II (4-9-1, 13 points) fell 4-0 at Austin Bold FC (4-3-6, 18 points) on Tuesday night at Bold Stadium in rainy Austin, Texas. Second-half strikes from captain Xavier Baez, Ates Diouf and Aldo Quintanilla complemented a Sporting KC II own goal as the hosts took provisional hold of the second and final playoff spot in Group D of the USL Championship.
Head coach Paulo Nagamura deployed a lineup that featured three changes from Saturday’s wild 3-2 loss at Saint Louis FC that eliminated Sporting KC II from playoff contention. Petar Cuic, Fredinho Mompremier and Enoch Mushagalusa moved to the substitutes’ bench, while a trio of teenage Sporting KC Academy products—Ryan Fessler, Isaiah LeFlore and Jahon Rad—all jumped into the XI for their second starts of the season.
The visitors were first to threaten inside two minutes, as captain Dillon Serna’s teasing corner kick was nodded marginally wide by 19-year-old defender Mason Leeth. Austin gained a foothold of their own and instituted a physical brand over the course of the half, racking up four yellow cards before intermission.
Bold FC kicked into a another gear on the cusp of halftime and nearly landed the first punch on two occasions. Outside back Sean McFarlane advanced into an attacking position and found a pocket of open space on the right edge of Sporting KC II’s penalty area, but his venomous blast sailed just beyond the top left corner in the 39th minute. Three minutes later, Baez unleashed a turf-trimming strike from the top of the box that fizzed inches wide of Sporting KC II goalkeeper Remi Prieur’s right-hand post.
The final notable play of the first half saw Serna come a few feet within a 55-yard wonder goal. After Sporting KC II cleared their lines on an Austin corner kick, Serna settled onto the ball, spotted Austin’s debutant goalkeeper Vincent Tasca well off his line, and pulled the trigger from midfield only to see the ball narrowly drift off target.
Leading Sporting KC II goal scorer Wilson Harris made his presence felt in the 49th minute, advancing into the final third and firing a 30-yard belter over the crossbar. At the opposite end, Serna lunged to stick a foot out and make a crucial block to deny Billy Forbes close to the penalty spot.
The hosts gained steam and broke through near the hour mark, tallying twice in three decisive minutes. Baez opened the scoring by settling a Forbes cross and tucking a neat finish low into the left corner for his fourth goal of the campaign. Baez was then involved in the goal that extended Austin’s cushion to 2-0, as his in-swinging corner resulted in an unlucky own goal for Sporting KC II.
With 71 minutes on the clock—six minutes after 17-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Kayden Pierre landed his professional debut—Harris again asked questions of the Austin backline by weaving past a pair of defenders and curling a yard off target.
Bold FC would add a third goal in the 73rd minute courtesy of Diouf, who entered the action as a substitute less than two minutes earlier.
A frustrating night for Sporting KC II was compounded in the 81st minute when Mompremier, who replaced LeFlore at the break, bent a left-footed effort past Tasca that smacked off the woodwork and out of play. Late in stoppage time, Aldo Quintanilla punctuated his second appearance of the season with his first Austin goal.
Sporting KC II is off this weekend and will conclude the club’s 2020 campaign with road games against fellow Group E sides and Eastern Conference heavyweights Indy Eleven at 6 p.m. CT on Sept. 30 and Louisville City FC at 7 p.m. CT on Oct. 3. Both contests will stream live on ESPN Plus.
2020 USL Championship
Match 14 of 16
Bold Stadium | Austin, Texas
Weather: 72 degrees and rainy
|Sporting Kansas City II (4-9-1, 13 points)||0||0||0|
|Austin Bold FC (4-3-6, 18 points)||0||4||4|
Sporting Kansas City II: Remi Prieur; Mason Leeth (Kayden Pierre 65'), Kaveh Rad, Danny Barbir, Dillon Serna (C); Isaiah LeFlore (Fredinho Mompremier 46'), Jake Davis, Jahon Rad (Petar Cuic 61'); Ryan Fessler (Enoch Mushagalusa 46'), Wilson Harris, Tyler Freeman (Dominik Resetar 84')
Subs Not Used: Mitch Hildebrandt, Christian Duke
Austin Bold FC: Vincent Tasca; Sean McFarlane, Gustavo Rissi (Omar Ciss 26'), Jermaine Taylor, Ismaila Jome; Xavier Baez (C), Je-Vaughn Watson (A.J. Francois 84'), Amobi Okugo, Ema Twumasi; Billy Forbes (Aldo Quintanilla 84'), Roberto Avila (Ates Diouf 72')
Subs Not Used: Diego Restrepo, Josue Soto, Jorge Troncoso
ATX -- Xavier Baez 4 (Billy Forbes 1) 57'
ATX -- Own goal (Jahon Rad) 61'
ATX -- Ates Diouf 4 (unassisted) 73'
ATX -- Aldo Quintanilla 1 (Sean McFarlane 2) 90+3'
ATX -- Xavier Baez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 10'
ATX -- Jermaine Taylor (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 13'
ATX -- Je-Vaughn Watson (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 29'
ATX -- Ema Twumasi (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 37'
SKC -- Dillon Serna (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 45+4'
|Shots on Goal||0||4|
Referee: Matthew Corrigan
Assistant Referee: Kevin Lock
Assistant Referee: Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Hector Hernandez