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May 18, 2023 1:49 am

Ethan Finlay leads Austin FC past West-leading Sounders

Ethan Finlay had a goal and an assist to lead Austin FC to a 2-1 victory against the host Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night.

Gyasi Zardes scored his first goal of the season for Austin (3-5-4, 13 points) which snapped a franchise-record-tying eight-match winless streak (0-4-4). Goalkeeper Brad Stuver made three saves.

Fredy Montero came off the bench to score for the Sounders (7-4-2, 23 points), who still lead the Western Conference. Seattle hadn’t been scored upon in its first five home matches before a 2-1 loss to previously winless Sporting Kansas City two weeks ago.

Sounders goalie Stefan Frei made two saves.

Seattle had two late chances to tie the score. Stuver made a diving save to deflect Jordan Morris’ volley just wide of the left post in the 84th minute. In the final seconds of second-half stoppage time, Heber’s header off a Montero corner kick went just wide of the right post.

Finley scored his first of the season in the 36th minute.

Austin quickly moved the ball down the right wing, but Jon Gallagher’s cross went all the way through the penalty area. Emiliano Rigoni saved the ball from going out for a throw-in and passed to Adam Lundkvist, who dribbled toward the end line before sending a pass back through two defenders and to Finlay just inside the top of the 18-yard box.

Finlay settled the ball and struck a low, left-footed shot past a diving Frei and just inside the right post.

Austin doubled its advantage in the 57th minute. Finlay dribbled down the right wing and sent a cross to Zardes at the top of the 6-yard box. Zardes’ leaping header caromed off the left post and into the net.

Montero pulled the Sounders within 2-1 in the 79th minute. Joao Paulo sent a long through ball to Morris streaking down the right wing. Morris passed to Heber just inside the top of the penalty area, and Heber spun and sent the ball along to Montero, whose low, right-footed strike beat Stuver just inside the right post.

–Field Level Media

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