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Austin Bold FC Jump into Playoff Spot with 4-0 Win over Sporting Kansas City II

September 23, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Austin Bold FC News Release

Austin, TX - Austin Bold FC took a two-point advantage for the final Group D playoff spot with a 4-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City II at Bold Stadium on Tuesday night.

Both sides had dangerous chances in the first half. A top of the box curler from Bold's Ema Twumasi just missed its target, and SKCII's Mason Leeth had a header go wide of the net. The Bold exploded in the second half with goals from Xavi Baez, Ates Diouf, Aldo Quintanilla, along with Jahon Rad's own goal, gave Austin all three points on the night.

The first half was a stop-and-start affair with referee Matthew Corrigan handing out five yellow cards. SKCII leading goalscorer Wilson Harris almost got the visitors into an early lead with a header from a corner that just missed its target in the match's first minutes. The Bold had chances as well. Billy Forbes couldn't redirect an Ismaila Jome cross in 16,' and Twumasi's right footed shot sailed wide in the 34'. Even with both sides having goalscoring opportunities, the first half ended 0-0.

Baez found the much-needed breakthrough in the 57'. Omar Ciss sent a long throw-in into the box and found an unmarked Forbes. The forward did well to find space and hit a low cross that ricocheted off an SKCII defender. Baez controlled the loose ball and fired a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Remi Prieur.

Austin found a second in the 61' from a Rad own goal. Prieur's clearance from a Baez corner kick deflected off the SKCII defender and into the back of the net.

Diouf found his fourth goal of the season in the 73'. An SKCII defender blocked Twumasi's shot, and Diouf was the first to pounce on the loose ball. The midfielder calmly tucked home The Bold's third of the night.

It was Quintanilla that put the match to rest in stoppage time. Sean McFarlane's through ball snuck through the visitors' defense, and Quintanilla clinically smashed home his one-on-one opportunity against Prieur for his first goal for Austin Bold FC.

Post Match Quotes:

Xavi Baez on the team's mentality in the final stretch of the season.

"Today was a great game for the whole team, especially in the second half. We knew we have 4 games to go and we had to play each as a final. Today we met that expectation. I think the victory is the result of having played the game with that mentality."

Xavi Baez on fans returning to Bold Stadium in limited capacity.

"We're also very happy that we had our fans in the stands. That motivated the team a lot. It was a great night for the whole Bold Familia."

Coach Marcelo Serrano on the night's victory.

"We had a clean sheet tonight and four goals. That's a fantastic result against a great Sporting Kansas City team. I think the guys did a great job in their effort. They were confident in their play. Two things we need as we fight for the playoffs. Even with all the problems that we had with this season, I think the players are doing a very good job coming together and playing as a unit."

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