FC Dallas come back to Qualify for USOC Final

Photo: FC Dallas

FC Dallas has advanced to the US Open Cup Final for the second time in club history after a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy at Stub Hub Center on Wednesday night. FC Dallas won in extra time, completing a dramatic comeback as the hunt for the club’s second ever trophy continues.

This match was the ninth time that Dallas had played in a US Open Cup semi-final, but their previous performances did not inspire much hope. Despite the past history FC Dallas started confidently, having the best of the early chances.

The best chance in the early stages came in the 14th minute when FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz forced a foul on the edge of the area. Diaz dusted himself off and stepped up to take the free-kick but he could only find the wall, letting LA Galaxy clear the ball.

In the 17th  minute LA Galaxy went close to opening the scoring themselves as midfielder Raul Mendiola went through the middle. Mendiola played the ball through to forward Alan Gordon who shot but was denied by a great save from FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

That seemed to kick things off for LA Galaxy who started to really go on the attack and they had another chance in the 22nd minute. Galaxy forward Emmnuel Boateng sent in a cross, which split the Dallas defense and fell to LA midfielder Mike Magee whose shot was well saved by Seitz.

Dallas hit back on the half hour and forced two strong saves out of LA Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe. Diaz sent in a cross for Dallas midfielder Michael Barrios who shot low but was denied by Rowe’s save. Off the clearance Dallas gained possession allowing Dallas striker Max Urruti cutting behind the defense and shot low again but again Rowe saved.

There was one last chance to LA Galaxy before half-time when Boateng was able to beat his defender and send in a cross. Boateng’s cross found Gordon who hit it powerfully, sending it just over the bar.

The second half was dull, with neither side really wanting to risk losing the match but with 20 minutes to play things came alive again. Dallas had three shots quickly, first Diaz’s free-kick which was punched but only as far as Urruti, whose shot was saved, the rebound falling to Dallas midfielder Tesho Akindele who was denied by a strong defensive block.

A counter attack nearly gave LA Galaxy the win late on when Boateng was played through by a nice long ball. Dallas recovered, forcing Acosta to shoot from distance, which allowed Seitz to make a diving save and send the match to extra time.

10 minutes in to extra time it looked like LA Galaxy would have the match won after Chris Seitz fouled LA Galaxy midfielder Giovanni dos Santos. That allowed Mike Magee to step up and take the penalty, sending Seitz the wrong way, and LA, seemingly, to the cup final.

But in the second half of extra-time FC Dallas fought back thanks to some great set-pieces from Diaz. FC Dallas was back on level terms with four minutes to play as Diaz sent in a corner for Dallas defender Matt Hedges who headed the ball home to level scores.

With the match seemingly heading to penalties, and in stoppage time in extra-time Dallas stole the win and the ticket to the final. Diaz sent in a corner for his midfielder Victor Ulloa, who scored with a header from the other side of the box and sent Dallas to the final. As New England Revolution won the other match, FC Dallas will host the US Open Cup Final at Frisco at some point in September, the first US Open Cup final hosted in Texas.

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