Everton, Fluminense, Fulham and the FC-Dallas U-18 Academy all secured spots in the semifinals of the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group on the final day of Super Group bracket play.
The two English sides as well as the Brazilian team all qualified for the knockout stages as a result of winning their respective brackets, while FC Dallas advanced by being the second-placed side with the highest point total and the best goal differential.
Fulham were the surprising winners of Bracket A, which featured the likes of Monterrey, the Under-20 United States Men’s National Team and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim of Germany. Nonetheless, after an opening 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim, Fulham put themselves in good position to advance by defeating the U-20 USMNT 2-1 in their second match.
A 1-1 draw with Monterrey in their final match put Fulham on 5 points, which proved enough for them to win the group with after the U-20 USMNT also drew 3-3 with the Germans, leaving them stuck with 4 points.
Goal-differential proved the deciding factor for Everton as they won Bracket B, with the Toffees and Real Salt Lake tied on 6 points after three matches. Everton held a +2 GD from their three matches though, while Real Salt Lake held even with a +/- 0 GD.
Despite suffering an opening-day defeat to Tigres at the Cotton Bowl, Everton rebounded with victories over Kyoto Sanga (2-1) and Real Salt Lake (3-1). Coming on the final day of bracket play, the 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake propelled Everton into the top spot in Bracket B, with their two-goal margin of victory claiming them a spot in the semifinals.
The process of advancing was much more straightforward for Fluminense, as they won each of their three Bracket C matches to advance with 9 points. In fact, the Brazilian side didn’t even surrender a goal during bracket play, winning 2-0 against each Queretaro and Middlesbrough and 1-0 against FC Dallas.
The real drama came in the manner that FC Dallas advanced as the highest-ranked of the second place sides. FC Dallas met Middlesbrough in each team’s final Bracket C match with a spot in the semifinals on the line. Both teams were on 3 points with a +/- 0 GD heading into the match, meaning that a win would put either team on 6 points and give them a positive GD, enough to advance them past Real Salt Lake, who had 6 points but a +/- 0 GD. A draw would have allowed Real Salt Lake to advance.
It seemed that the match was heading the way of a draw as well, with neither side able to find a goal as the game entered its final moments. But in second-half stoppage time, Devin Vega found space at the top of the box and volleyed home to give FC Dallas a late winner.
The Dr Pepper Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group Semifinals will be as follows.
Friday, March 25th – 6:00 pm – Fluminense vs. Fulham
Friday, March 25th – 8:00 pm – Everton vs. FC Dallas
Games will be held at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
Winners will play in the Gordon Jago Super Group Championship Match on Sunday night at Toyota Stadium.
Tickets are available online at the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup website.