Maxi Urruti’s goal in the fourth minute of extra time completed a comeback win for FC Dallas on Wednesday night and punched their ticket to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (LHUSOC) quarterfinals for the 15th time in club history.
The 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Stadium in Frisco means that FC Dallas will face the Houston Dynamo in a Texas Derby matchup in the quarterfinals, to be played on July 20th at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Manager Oscar Pareja opted for a blend of experience and a lack thereof in the FC Dallas starting lineup, with regular starters Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz and Walker Zimmerman joined by Agustin Jara, Juan Ortiz and Carlos Lizarazo.
The home side nearly took the lead in the eighth minute, when Lizarazo found Tesho Akindele streaking towards goal with a through ball. Despite being able to fire the bouncing ball on net, Akindele’s effort was saved well by an on-rushing Zac MacMath for Colorado.
The Rapids first threatened the goal of Jesse Gonzalez in the 23rd minute, when forward Luis Solignac could only manage a weak shot that was easily handled by the FC Dallas backup.
The next Colorado foray towards the Dallas net would result in a goal though, with Dominique Badji scoring in the 38th minute to put the visitors into the lead.
Substitute midfielder Marlon Hairston, who entered the match in the opening stages for an injured Dillon Serna, assisted Badji on goal. Hairston got behind Jara in the FC Dallas defense before sending a ball across the face of goal to Badji, who could not miss from point blank range in a move that gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Early second half substitutions from Pareja introduced Michael Barrios and Victor Ulloa into the match for Lizarazo and Ortiz, although it was Colorado who had the next scoring chance in the 60th minute.
Badji this time enjoyed success attacking the right side of the FC Dallas defense, driving into the box and unleashing a swerving shot that was parried very well by Gonzalez.
However soon afterwards, waves of Dallas pressure descended on the goal of MacMath, resulting in Diaz’s equalizer in the 64th minute.
Kellyn Acosta’s clearence from the top of the FC Dallas penalty box was picked up by Castillo, who spectacularly evaded two Colorado defenders near the touchline to play himself through on goal. Replays showed that Castillo’s nutmeg of one defender caused both Rapids players to collide with each other, with Castillo then rounding the assistant referee before finding himself with acres of space as he approached MacMath’s goal.
A simple dump-off pass to Diaz gave the Argentinian an easy finish and leveled the match at one.
Each side enjoyed a late chance to win the match before it entered extra time, but Hairston and Acosta each had shots saved with relative ease to ensure that the score would remain 1-1.
The match’s winning moment arrived shortly after extra time began, with Urruti scoring an unlikely solo goal to give FC Dallas a 2-1 advantage.
After dribbling past several Colorado defenders on the right wing, Urruti let loose a shot on goal from a very tight angle. MacMath made no attempt to dive for the ball as it kissed the inside of the near post and went in, putting the home team in front for the first time.
Defender Marc Burch nearly answered immediately for the Rapids, but his optimistic volley from range fell just outside the far post following a Colorado set piece.
Three glorious chances were presented to FC Dallas in the second period of extra time to kill the match off by taking a 3-1 lead, but each time Dallas were unable to find the back of the net.
Urruti volleyed just over the goal of MacMath in the 106th minute after a lovely lobbed pass from Diaz, before Castillo hit the outside base of the post off an FC Dallas corner.
Urruti looked to complete his brace once again in the 112th minute, but his counterattacking strike from just inside the Colorado penalty box hit the crossbar and kept the Rapids in the match.
Irish striker Kevin Doyle had Colorado’s best final chances to force a penalty kick shootout in the game’s final minutes. After first seeing his header tipped over the crossbar by an outstretched Gonzalez, Doyle and teammate Jared Watts got in each other’s way when presented with a loose ball in the Dallas penalty area.
Their confusion allowed Gonzalez to gratefully pounce on the loose ball in the final attacking move from Colorado, who could not muster another shot on goal.
The match’s conclusion was extended though with FC Dallas receiving a rash of yellow cards for time wasting, as Gonzalez and defender Atiba Harris were among those carded.
The chippy and aggressive end to the game could be revived on July 23rd when FC Dallas next play Colorado, on the road in Commerce City, just three days after their LHUSOC quarterfinal in Houston.