Joao Klauss lifts St. Louis City over Austin FC


Joao Klauss tucks in the opening goal for St. Louis City SC

Joao Klauss puts away Rasmus Alm's cross to put St. Louis City SC up 1-0.

Joao Klauss scored his second goal of the season early in the second half and St. Louis City picked up a 1-0 victory over visiting Austin FC on Sunday afternoon.

Klauss' goal helped St. Louis (2-1-5, 11 points) halt a five-match winless run in what was a surprisingly cagey affair given these teams' history.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

St. Louis City and Austin (2-3-3, nine points) had combined for 18 goals in their first three league matches since the former joined MLS to start the 2023 season.

On Sunday, Austin failed to register a shot on target as it saw a two-match winning streak come to an end.

Brad Stuver made three saves for the visitors, who were held scoreless for a third time this season. Austin FC has scored multiple goals in four of their other five matches.

St. Louis striker Samuel Adeniran was a healthy scratch from the matchday squad, leaving an out-of-form Klauss as the hosts' most likely scorer.

Attacking midfielder Eduard Lowen was also held out due to a hamstring injury, even though St. Louis City manager Bradley Carnell had said he returned to full training this week.

Klauss' only previous goal this season had come from the penalty spot, and his slow start was in direct contrast to 2023, when he hit the back of the net five times as St. Louis opened its expansion season with a five-match winning streak.

But Klauss finally got out of his rut when he finished off an excellent St. Louis attack in the 57th minute, one that began when Tomas Totland ran onto an excellent diagonal ball near the center circle.

Totland spotted Rasmus Alm down the right side, and Alm eventually dragged a low cross toward the penalty spot. That's where Klauss checked his run to be able to redirect the service into the bottom left corner of the net.

Aziel Jackson thought he had scored an insurance tally in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time when he finished off one of several late St. Louis counterattacks, but he was ruled offside.

It proved inconsequential, as Austin FC never threatened St. Louis the rest of the way.