The loss was the first USL PDL home loss for the Aztex (7-1-1) in 17 games, dating back to a 2-1 loss to the El Paso Patriots on June 16, 2012. The loss is also the first loss in league play since the Heat defeated the Aztex 1-0 in Laredo on July 3, 2013.
The Heat (4-2-3) looked to establish a physical tone to the match when defender Salvador Luna was issued a caution after a hard challenge to Chuy Cortes.
The Aztex nearly punched through the Heat defense in the 27th minute when Chuy Cortes fed Buba Jobe the ball on the left hand side of the penalty area. Jobe was able to wrap around the left flank of the defense before he hit a pass across the face of the goal. Heat goalkeeper Jorge Ortega was able to deflect the pass for a loose ball in front of goal, and a Heat defender cleared the ball away. However, Aztex midfielder Alesi Osorio got the ball from 25 yards out and ripped a shot that sailed just over the crossbar.
Laredo were able to strike first in the 39th minute when Luna received a through ball and was able to break through for a one-on-one with Aztex goalkeeper Devin Perales. Luna took a heavy touch to the ball and Perales beat Luna to the ball to clear it away, but saw his clearance attempt deflect off of trailing defender Travis Golden. The ball bounced to Luna, who hit the ball with an opportunistic shot into the corner of the open goal.
The goal was the fourth time in as many games in which the Aztex conceded the first goal. In the previous three matches, the Aztex would bounce back to defeat their opponents. However, the fourth time was not a charm.
Aztex head coach Manuel Buentello made two adjustments in the lineup at halftime, bringing Eddie Campbell in for Jobe and Marshall Tucker in for Golden.
The Aztex looked the grab the equalizer in the second half and pressed to get their equalizer. This resulted in more chances from set pieces for the squad, including two attempts from Andrew Fox.
Devin Perales was sure to keep the Aztex in the match with two big saves in the second half. However, Laredo took the opportunity to stall action in the second half to maintain the lead.
The Laredo Hear are the only team to shut out the Austin Aztex at House Park, having accomplished the feat twice. Prior to tonight’s game, the only other time the Aztex were shut out at House Park was a 2-0 loss to the Heat on June 9, 2012.
The Aztex will begin a three-game road trip starting with a rubber match versus the Heat on Tuesday. The Aztex return to House Park on Friday, June 11 versus the second place Midland/Odessa Sockers.