with a 2-1, come-from-behind win over the LA Galaxy in extra time at StubHub Center. Dallas opened its ninth Open Cup Semifinal with several looks at goal, the best coming in the 14th minute as Mauro Diaz worked his way between three Galaxy players and was dragged down just outside the area. The midfielder took the threatening free kick, 20 yards from goal, but sent it into the LA wall.
The Galaxy would get the its first good look just three minutes later, as Raul Mendiola walked through space in the middle of the field and found an open Alan Gordon alone in the right half of the penalty area. Gordon took a low shot from the flank but FCD goalkeeper Chris Seitz got a piece of the point-blank chance, just enough to slow it down for a sliding Atiba Harris could clear it out for a corner.
Seitz was called upon again in the 22nd minute, as Emmanuel Boeteng sent a cross in between the Dallas center backs and right to the feet of Mike Magee. The LA Captain sent a point-blank shot high on frame, but Seitz reacted perfectly to slap the chance away with his right hand.
Shortly after, it was Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe’s turn to respond with two saves in the span of two minutes. The first, in the 30th minute as Diaz sent a long cross to Michael Barrios at the top left corner of the area. The Colombian winger checked up and then drove down the left side of the penalty area before taking a low-angle shot that Rowe corralled. Then, off the ensuing goal kick, it was Diaz once again with a set-up pass to Maxi Urruti sneaking behind the back line. Dallas’ striker sent a hard, low shot on goal, which Rowe stopped.
In the 37th minute, LA would threaten once again, as Boeteng beat Harris down the left side of the pitch and sent a cross into a trailing Gordon. Gordon was unable to keep his attempt on frame, putting his second shot of the night just over the cross bar.
In the 58th minute, Diaz took Dallas’ second corner kick of the night, finding Walker Zimmerman inside the six-yard box, but the defender’s header glanced just past the far side post.
Things remained slow for both sides until the 71st minute, when Diaz took an in-swinging free kick from distance. Rowe came out and punched the ball away from a scrum in front, but right to Urruti who turned and fired a shot that was blocked in from by Jeff Larentowicz. The rebound from Urruti’s shot fell right to Tesho Akindele at the far corner of the 18, and he tried a shot that was also blocked in front, this time by Dave Romney.
The Galaxy sent things the other way just seconds later on the counter attack, as Boeteng found himself one-on-one with Acosta from the midfield line all the way into goal. Acosta was able to keep the speedy midfielder in front of him and forced a shot from distance that Seitz made an easy diving save on to keep the match scoreless.
The game would head to extra time, scoreless after 90 minutes. It was the third time in four Open Cup matches this season that FCD needed more than 90 minutes.
In the 100th minute of the match, the Galaxy were awarded a penalty kick as Seitz dove for a ball inside the penalty area and was deemed to have taken down LA’s Giovanni dos Santos. Mike Magee took the kick for the Galaxy and tucked it inside the right corner of goal, as Seitz dove to the left.
Dallas would score two goals in the final five minutes of extra time, both on corner kicks from Diaz. In the 116th minute, Matt Hedges rose above the scrum in front to head a corner from the left side home to level the match. Then in extra time stoppage time, it was Homegrown Victor Ulloa rising to connect on a header from the right side to put the visitors up, 2-1, moments before the final whistle.
FC Dallas will now host the New England Revolution in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in late September. Ticket information will be made available after U.S. Soccer confirms and announces the date and time of the game.
LA: Mike Magee (PK) 101
DAL: Matt Hedges (Mauro Diaz) 116
DAL: Victor Ulloa (Mauro Diaz) 120+1
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Maynor Figueroa, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Atiba Harris (Victor Ulloa – 45′), Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Ryan Hollingshead (Tesho Akindele – 67′), Mauro Diaz, Michael Barrios, Maxi Urruti (Getterson 90+1′).
Substitutes Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Aubrey David, Norberto Paparatto, Mauro Rosales, Getterson.
LA Galaxy – Brian Rowe, Rafael Garcia, Leonardo, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole, Baggio Husidic, Jeff Larentowicz, Raul Mendiola (Sebastian Lletget – 91′), Mike Magee, Emmanuel Boeteng (Giovanni dos Santos – 74′), Alan Gordon (Gyasi Zardes – 74′).
Substitutes Not Used: Dan Kennedy, A.J. DeLaGarza, Daniel Steres, Nigel de Jong.
DAL: Atiba Harris (caution) – 26′
DAL: Victor Ulloa (caution) – 53′
DAL: Maynor Figueroa (caution) – 75′
LA: Rafael Garcia (caution) – 80′
DAL: Carlos Gruezo (caution) – 86′
FCD: Michael Barrios (caution) – 112′
Referee: Ted Unkle AR1 (bench): Ian B Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Cameron Blanchard; 4th: Alex Chilowicz.
Weather: Sunny, 72
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
General thoughts on the match…
Obviously, a great match. For us, we’re happy to have the victory against the LA Galaxy, here at their home. I thought we did a lot of great things, especially in the second half. First half, I thought both teams played conservatively. We had a few chances and LA had chances as well. The second half, I thought we stepped up. We were more intense and we got more volume in the attack. Our transition play was strong. Unfortunately, we gave a chance in the overtime. We showed again… We have done it many times, but tonight was another match that showed this team is full of spirit. They defended this club and showed their love for it. They deserve to be in the final, for sure.
On Victor Ulloa’s game-winning goal…
I could not really see from the technical area, but I saw the goals coming. The boys were pushing. They were all heart. The game rewarded them in the best way. They deserve to be in the final. Tonight’s came was in encapsulation of what we are, full of spirit.
On Mauro Diaz’s deliveries on the set pieces…
Our coaching staff did an excellent job preparing the team [to have success] on the set pieces. We had faith tonight that we would be able to get a result on the set plays. We spent a lot of time on it this week. Mauro is getting stronger. I thought his deliveries were marvelous. He put the ball where we wanted it. I have to congratulate all of the players. It is difficult for me to highlight just one.
On going down a goal in overtime…
After we gave up the goal, I thought we played our best soccer. The spirit of this team was proven one more time. After the penalty kick, I could tell that our boys would get an equalizer. When the corner kick came on the last play, I could feel the energy. We worked a lot this week on set plays. Mauro put the ball where we wanted it and the game rewards.
On what it means to be hosting a final…
It means a lot to the franchise. We are going one step at a time. Today, we are one step closer. We have a good rival in front of us but tonight’s game shows a lot. We are excited to continue this journey. Winning trophies for the club is our objective this year.
FC Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa
Kids dream of scoring that type of goal…
Absolutely, all the hard work that this team has put in though out the season… I think we deserved it. We had the character and resilience to fight through and come back. Thank God I had the chance and was able to score that goal.
On the set piece goals…
We talked before the game about set pieces and how they were going to be a key. We needed to take advantage. Mauro [Diaz] served two great balls and Matt [Hedges] and I got on the end of them. Mauro is a great set piece taker. We have to take full advantage of it and fortunately we put two in the back of the net today.
On what it means to be hosting a final…
We have the mentality that we need to win a championship for this team. We have a great opportunity at home in front of our fans that deserve it.
On playing the LA Galaxy for the first time this season…
Getting a win here, away, where we have not won in a while, helps us mentally. We’re doing well. We have momentum and we hope to keep pushing forward.
Were you ever in doubt after going down a goal?
We’ve fought so hard this season and we have got past many obstacles. Our mentality is that we want to take it back home and play for a championship in front of our fans. We just showed it. We didn’t put our heads down. We kept going. After we got that first goal, we were back to normal and the last ball of the game. It’s all or nothing. Thankfully, I got on the end of it. Now, we know we are good at home. We have to take full advantage of it. Hopefully our fans will be there to back us up and we can raise that trophy.
FC Dallas center back Matt Hedges
Thoughts on the goals…
We practice our free kicks and set plays every day and for it to come good at a time like this is amazing.
What did you see on your goal?
They mark us zonally so we tried to move around in the zone and confuse them a little bit. It seemed to work because I went behind someone’s back and they lost track of me. I was able to run around the whole [box] without anybody picking me up. That’s the thing with zonal marking is you don’t really know who’s supposed to be attacking the ball so it’s a good opportunity for us.
Going down like that in overtime must have been really tough…
It’s tough but I was telling the guys we had 20 minutes left. We just needed one goal any way we could get it and then go to penalties. I was just trying to keep our spirits high. Maybe it was a penalty maybe it was not but after they finish it there’s nothing we could do about it but keep going.
Was there ever a point where you thought you had lost the game?
No. Not really. Even right before the ref was going to blow the whistle, he told me that [would be the last play] so I was just telling the guys come on we’ve got to score.
It must be nice having a guy like Mauro Diaz on those corner kicks…
We have a couple plays but we were really just trying to get in the box and get in there and make it happen. Mauro puts it into great spots… you just have to be there.
Have you had a game like this before in your career?
One time in college in the national championship we scored a pretty amazing goal but it wasn’t in the last minute. It was out of nowhere and we won the game 1-0 and it was a similar feeling of excitement. The only other time I ever felt that way… [the playoff win against] Seattle is another good one, that one too.
What would winning the Open Cup mean?
It’s huge, we need it. The last two years we’ve been one of the best teams in the league but we’ve got nothing to show for it. We need to win something and I think this is our first opportunity.
What does it mean to host the match at home?
It’s humongous. We’re going to be in our home stadium hosting a final to try to win a trophy. That’s all you can ever ask for.
Next FC Dallas home game, presented by Toyota, is Saturday, August 13th at 8:00 PM vs Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Stadium. Purchase your tickets at www.fcdallas.com.
Vernon Hadnot is the Owner, Director, Editor and Producer of D210SPORTSTV. D210SPORTSTV became the first Texas independent producer to contribute programming to Spectrum Sports in 2010 and currently airs on Spectrum Cable Channel 15. D210SPORTSTV is your all access sports credential to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Wings, FC Dallas and SMU Athletics the in Dallas, Texas Metroplex Area. D210SPORTSTV is a cutting edge and fast paced 30 minute sports video magazine show. D210SPORTSTV provides viewers with an all-access credentialed sports pass and is produced in Dallas, Texas. Hadnot has worked as a Director for Fox Sports Networks on The Drew Pearson show and won numerous national awards for public service announcements, commercials, movie theater ads, training videos and live on air television broadcast.