Fabian Castillo’s goal in second half stoppage time booked FC Dallas a place in the final four of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (LHUSOC) at the expense of the Houston Dynamo in a Texas Derby showdown on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Dallas will now visit the Los Angeles Galaxy in the semifinals of the United States’ oldest knockout soccer cup competition, with the Chicago Fire and New England Revolution contesting the other semifinal in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Neither the Dynamo nor FC Dallas were able to create many clear-cut chances in what was a cagey first half in Houston. FC Dallas forward Maxi Urruti was able to force Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis into a save at his near post, while Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz was undisturbed in the opening 45 minutes.
In contrast to the first half, the second half featured moments of flowing, attacking play from the sides as they each sought a go-ahead goal.
Mauro Manotas found himself presented with a golden chance to put Houston in front in the 49th minute, but his shot was denied by a sprawling Seitz.
Six minutes later, Urruti should have put Dallas into the lead, but he was unable to successfully chip Willis from the top of the penalty area after receiving a pass from Castillo.
Manotas would provide the hosts with their best chance of the night on the hour mark, when he blasted a shot past Seitz and off the crossbar, preventing Houston from taking the lead.
It looked as if extra time was to be necessary for the third-consecutive round of the 2016 LHUSOC for Dallas, until Castillo emerged with a late winning-goal. Kellyn Acosta’s ball towards the Houston penalty area fell to Castillo, who did sublimely to dribble around the Dynamo defense and fire past Willis at his near post.
The 91st minute tally ensured that FC Dallas would reach their ninth LHUSOC semifinal in front of just over 10,000 spectators.
FC Dallas will travel to play the Galaxy in the semifinals on August 10th, and the club has been awarded the third-best preference among the clubs remaining when it comes to hosting the LHUSOC final.
This means that should FC Dallas advance to the LHUSOC final, they would only host the final if the New England Revolution advance past Chicago in the first semifinal on August 9th (New England received the fourth-best preference for hosting the final).