The Austin Aztex shocked the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 with an explosion of goals in the last twenty five minutes of the season to finish with a 3-2 win. The win lifted Austin to finish in ninth place in their debut USL season.
A listless Aztex made it through the first half on even terms with the Whitecaps 2. Austin managed two shots neither on target. Vancouver controlled most of the half, but it was Austin’s carelessness in the back that handed the home side the best chance of the half. The Aztex backline found themselves under pressure and turned the ball over just outside their box. Austin’s goalie Cody Laurendi came off his line to snuff out the trouble. However, Vancouver forward Caleb Clarke managed to send a shot on goal that looked certain to be the opener. Austin’s Columbus Crew SC loanee Sergio Campbell smartly covered the goal and headed the shot clear.
The last half of the season turned out to be the wildest one of the year. Vancouver came out of halftime on fire. They picked up their energy and struck early. Brett Levis took a shot from about 35 yards out in the 47th minute that beat Laurendi. The goal motivated Vancouver as they shifted into another gear. Their determination was rewarded in the 58th minute. Levis this time hassled Aztex captain Lance Rozeboom as the defender was trying to get control of the ball. Levis out maneuvered and won the ball from the Aztex defender which immediately put him in on goal. Before Laurendi could get set Levis shot and scored his second of the match. Vancouver were up two goals heading into the last half hour of the game.
The Aztex looked defeated. They had been outplayed through the first hour of the game and were staring at going winless in the last three games of the season. But Romain Gall was not going to let it end that way. The other Crew SC loanee on the Aztex put Austin’s attack on his shoulders and sparked an unlikely comeback. Gall struck gold in the 66th minute with a deft turn in the box to give Austin their first goal. He inspired the other players to join him and Austin found themselves on top. Gall had a second shot tipped off a post in the 73rd minute. Their pressure forced the Whitecaps into gifting a goal that Tony Rocha put away in the 80th minute. Ten minutes left in regulation and the game was tied 2-2. The Aztex completed the comeback when Austin’s Kris Tyrpak headed in the game winning goal in the 85th minute from Mozzi Gyorio’s cross.
The game concludes the season for both clubs. The Aztex go out with a bang. The team that has struggled to finish its chances all season finds a way to get three unanswered and win on the road.