Real Salt Lake didn't go down without a fight, forcing Austin FC into a penalty shootout that the Verde & Black won 3-1.
The energy of the fans at Q2 Stadium was palpable and started off strong with a march to the stadium. "This is special this morning getting ready, putting on this jersey," said fan Claudia Chavez.
"Just to get everyone playing loud getting in the zone getting ready to support Austin FC," said fellow fan Ben Stahl. "We’re here to show up for the players, for the fans, for the team."
And show up, they did, from morning until game time at 2 p.m. Some stopped by Hopsquad Brewing Company on their own march to the stadium, with some fans sporting Austin FC shoes.
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Many that showed up Sunday have been there since the beginning, like season ticket holders Matt Riveron and Robert Chow. Fans loyal to the Verde & Black reaped the reward Sunday of getting to see their team play in their very first playoff match and the first major league playoff game ever to be played in Austin.
"The turn around from last season obviously amazing and MLS playoffs are a big deal," said Riveron.
In Austin FC's first season in the MLS, the Verde & Black finished second to last, No. 12, in the Western Conference with a 9-21-4 overall record. Before this season, the Club made some notable roster changes.
"Being a first franchise team coming into it and now getting that comradery to make a playoff run is huge for us and Austin, so it’s dope," said Felix Bellamy.
"It’s a huge deal to be in it period but to get the seed that we got and hopefully win a MLS cup just to get the chance is massive," said Riveron.
Austin FC still does have a chance at an MLS cup, as they will host the winner of tomorrow's match between FC Dallas and Minnesota United FC in the Western Conference Semifinals at Q2 Stadium next Sunday. Tickets go on sale to the general public Tuesday.