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Heat out of Open Cup

Heat out of Open Cup

Austin scores in both halves

By Zach Smith Laredo Morning Times

AUSTIN — The Laredo Heat had its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup dreams dashed with a 2-0 loss Wednesday night by the USL’s Austin Aztex. Austin scored one goal in each half to eliminate their old rivals from the domestic competition.

The Heat started the game on the attack going at the goal while Austin sat back and absorbed the pressure. Laredo tried to thread the ball past the defenders, but all three times they tried in the first half they were called offside.

After a long stretch of attacking on the counter, Austin finally broke through when Andres Cuero put the first goal past Heat goalkeeper Jorge Ortega. Former Heat defender Max Gunderson picked up an assist on the play.

For the rest of the half, Laredo was the far better attacking team but couldn’t get past the Aztex defense after they routinely put nine men behind the ball. Uncharacteristically, the Heat went route one,sending a long ball up the middleof the field instead of playing their regular tiki-taka style.

Laredo had its best chance of the half with 10 minutes left in the period. Chuy Cortes swung in a corner kick with the box full of Heat players. None of the three chances on goal had enough power to get past the Austin keeper.

The Heat looked like they came out in the second half with more purpose and wanted to speed thegame up. But just the opposite happened and the match came to a screeching halt. In the final half hour of the game, it was clear
which team was nine games into the regular season and which one had yet to play a regular season matchup. Austin carved up Laredo and played an abbreviated version of keep away to run out the clock.

With most of their forces pushing towards the goal, the Heat defense got caught out when the Aztex played a beautiful through ball to the streaking attacker. He squared it in front of goal to send the Austin fans into a ‘Dos a Cero’ chant.

After having their regular season opener canceled due to flooded fields, the Heat open the PDL season Saturday at 8 p.m. against the Mississippi Brilla at the TAMIU Soccer Complex.

Follow @Zach_Smith_ on Twitter for the latest updates on the Heat and other local sports.