FC Dallas win insane shootout with Seattle, advance to Western Conference Finals

jesse celebration

An insane final 10 minutes of regular time which saw three combined goals scored by the two clubs, all by second half subs. Tesho Akindele and Walker Zimmerman got on the scoresheet for FC Dallas, while Chad Barrett score for Seattle.

 The match would have to be decided in penalties. Zimmerman would later be called upon the score the winning penalty, which he did. I think you can say the kids, are now men.

A chippy first half got started early, as Seattle looked dangerous for the first 15 minutes. Obafemi Martins laid the ball off to Texas-native Clint Dempsey from not far out in the 3rd minute. Jesse Gonzalez made the save look easy.

Dallas then went on the offensive for a bit in the 15th minute, having three corners back-to-back-to-back of each other, none which would lead to anything. That was really the story of FC Dallas’ first half, a lot of unforced errors would lead the team to a scoreless half.

FC Dallas’ Colombian duo of Michael Barrios and Fabian Castillo led them to their best chances of the half. Castillo would make a quick cut move to the inside in the 21st minute, but his shot would just go over the bar. Barrios would shoot from just outside the box on a well hit effort, but Frei fell on top of it in the 43rd minute.

Arguably the best chance of the first half came just before the halftime whistle. Gonzalo Pineda let a shot fly, and Zach Loyd got a foot to his effort. The ball took an awkward looping arc off of Loyd’s deflection and went over Gonzalez’s head. The 6’4 keeper used his entire frame, and an athletic leap to knock the ball over the bar just before it crossed the goal line. The half ended scoreless.

The second half was some of the craziest soccer in the 20 year history of Major League Soccer.

Let us start when Dallas came extremely close to the opening goal in the 51st minute. Michael Barrios pushed the ball to the bi-line and crossed to Castillo. Frei made an outstanding kick-save preventing the goal.

The match was looking to be a repeat of last season’s second leg against Seattle, but great play from Je-Vaughn Watson and Tesho got FC Dallas the huge goal they needed at the time with his first touch of the match.

Watson played in an outstanding cross, and Tesho just put his head to it as the shot screamed past Frei. All 17,287 in attendance erupted for the 1-0 score line in the 85th minute, the second postseason goal of his career.

The stadium would fall quiet in the 90th minute when Seattle sub Chad Marshall equalized the game at 1-1, but they found a reason to cheer just one minute later when yet another second half sub scored for FC Dallas.

Walker Zimmerman scored a headed goal from inside the six yard box, putting FC Dallas up 2-1. The aggregate would be 3-3, tied on away goals. It was Zimmerman’s first career MLS Playoff goal.

With extra time looming, it was almost the Colombian international Castillo who found a winner after a ball popped up to his head just on the goal-line. Frei made yet another amazing save, this time from the sitting position. Extra-time was needed.

Dallas would have the only real chance of the first half of extra time in the 95th minute. Mauro Diaz, who had a solid night, would flick the ball up to Tesho. Tesho’s shot would not have enough power behind it as Frei settled it against his chest.

Seattle would almost get on the board on the other side of the break in extra time after a bad mistake at the back for FC Dallas. Gonzalez was quick to make sure nothing came of it however. Penalties were needed.

Dallas would have a chance of their own in the 116th minute when Tesho drove the lane and shot. Frei made an unreal one handed stop.

In the penalty shootout, homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez came up huge for his club, making two saves. Zimmerman would step up with the chance to win the match after the huge equalizer on aggregate in regular time. Zimmerman fired a rocket, and that would be all she wrote. FC Dallas took the match 4-2 on penalties.

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