Laredo Heat SC Back to Winning Ways after 3-0 Win against Austin United FC

Win ends Heat’s two-game slide

By Laredo Heat SC

The Laredo Heat SC bounced back in a big way, defeating Austin United FC 3-0 on Saturday at PEG Energy Stadium in Laredo to strengthen its playoff positioning heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Heat (5-2-1, 16 points) entered the match on the first losing streak under head coach John Powell. 

After a 1-0 road loss to Denton on June 15, Laredo waited 12 days between games due to weather postponements.  On Thursday, the Heat saw a 1-0 halftime lead evaporate into a 2-1 loss at home against the Lubbock Matadors. 

Laredo’s losing streak also marked the only two times this season being held without multiple goals.  The Heat exercised those demons and then some on Saturday as Jordan Mase, Manuel Ponce Casas, and Laredo native Gael Gallegos all scored. 

Saturday also marked the third clean sheet of the season for the Heat.  It was a feat that was achieved without captain and center back Lewis Wilson as he served a one-game suspension for a red card received in added time Thursday.

Right back Gabriel Claudio – typically an aggressive offensive presence – slid to the middle Saturday to fill in for Wilson, and Laredo native Diego Rocha subbed in for him in the second half.  Goalkeeper Adrian Gallardo was consistently in position for the limited chances Austin generated, while the Heat dominated possession throughout the match. 

With the victory, the Heat will be in one of the four playoff positions heading into the final week of the regular season.  FC Brownsville (5-1-2, 17 points) won 3-1 Saturday at home over the Lubbock Matadors (4-3-1, 13 points), meaning Laredo will be in either third or fourth place after Saturday.  

Brownsville is a point ahead of Laredo, but the teams play each other twice next week. 

There were limited scoring chances in the first half until a defensive play delivered the Heat the go-ahead goal.  With Austin (2-6-1, 7 points) attempting to connect a pass from the far right side to the center near the top of the box, Mase crashed through and picked off the pass.  The intended target of the pass tackled Mase in the box, and a penalty kick was awarded.  Mase did a slow run up to the ball and calmly tapped it into the lower left corner as the keeper dove the opposite direction. 

After the Heat handled a deep free kick for Austin early in the second half, Ponce Casas provided some cushion with his team-high ninth goal of the season.  Jorge Amaya executed a give-and-go with Fiorini Gianluca from the right side as he sprinted toward the top center of the box and fired a left-footed shot toward the lower right corner.  The keeper made a diving save, but Mase quickly centered the rebound as Ponce Casas crashed in to tap it in for a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.

Laredo put the game away in added time as a pair of subs connected for the goal.  Mere Escobar drove up the left side, cut toward the center and passed across to Gallegos.  Then Gallegos froze a defender at the top of the box, cut left, and put a left-footed shot into the top left corner for a 3-0 lead. 

The Heat now wrap up the regular season with a pair of matches next week against FC Brownsville.

Laredo hosts a 7:45 pm match on Wednesday, July 3 at PEG Energy Stadium then travels to Brownsville on Saturday.

Please visit youtube.com/@LaredoHeatSC for live streams of the Heat’s matches.  For ticket information and to stay up to date on all things Laredo Heat, please visit laredoheatsc.com and follow @laredoheatsc on all major social media platforms.

Photo Credit: Andy Gonzalez Photography/Laredo Heat SC

 

Other Articles