Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
For the first time in three years, FC Dallas are back in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals.
The MLS club ended the valiant run by the North American Soccer League’s Carolina RailHawks with a 5-2 quarterfinal victory in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated. The RailHawks actually scored first through forward Zach Schilawski in the ninth minute, but Blas Perez answered back with two goals to give FC Dallas the lead.
The RailHawks tied the score in the 37th minute after Moises Hernandez was whistled for a handball in the box, setting up a penalty kick goal for Enzo Martinez. But just a minute before halftime, FC Dallas forward Fabian Castillo took advantage of a turnover and scored to make it 3-2 to the visitors.
Late in the match, substitute Mauro Diaz tacked on a goal in the 89th minute and Perez scored his hat-trick goal in the third minute of stoppage time to put the match on ice and send FC Dallas to the semifinals.
Here’s a look at the rest of the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal action:
CHICAGO FIRE, 3, ATLANTA SILVERBACKS 1
An 82nd minute Jeff Larentowicz penalty kick goal and a late insurance goal from Alex was enough to separate the Chicago Fire from the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 3-1 victory for the MLS club.
Before any goals were scored, both Mike Magee and Silverbacks’ Jesus Gonzalez were shown straight red cards in the 29th minute for an altercation just beyond the end line, leaving both teams with 10 men for the remaining hour of the match. Quincy Amarikwa gave the Fire a great start to the second half when he poked home a rebound in the 50th minute, but Silverbacks forward Deon MacCauley answered right back four minutes later, slotting home into an empty net.
The Fire’s big break came in the 81st minute as new signing Matthew Fondy was taken out in the box, leading to a penalty kick. Larentowicz fired his spot kick down the middle and even though Silverbacks goalkeeper Derby Carillo got a touch on it, the ball still went in.
With the Silverbacks pushing forward, the Fire scored their third in the 85th minute as Alex knocked home a Carillo rebound to ensure a place in the next round.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS 3, PORTLAND TIMBERS 1
The Cascadia Cup rivalry took to the field on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup and the match between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers didn’t disappoint.
Timbers winger Darlington Nagbe scored in the third minute of second half stoppage time to cancel out Osvaldo Alonso’s 69th minute goal and send the match into extra time. It was there, in the 111th minute, that former Timber Kenny Cooper got on the end of a cross and headed home to give the Sounders a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Marco Pappa added a third goal four minutes later to send the Sounders faithful into rapture as they won, 3-1, in extra time.
PHILADELPHIA UNION 2, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 0
In a game that was delayed for more than an hour due to a serious thunderstorm, the Union pulled out a 2-0 victory over the Revolution at PPL Park in Chester, Penn.
Conor Casey put the hosts on the board early after rounding Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton and slotting home. Three minutes into the second half, history was made as Union midfielder Sebastian Le Toux sent a free kick in that went over Knighton’s head and into the net, giving Le Toux his 14th U.S. Open Cup goal, setting a new record in the modern era (1995-present).
The game was stopped in the 61st minute due to threatening winds, rain, thunder, and lightning, before resuming more than an hour later.
SEMIFINAL ROUND SCHEDULE
Aug. 12 – FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union – Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas.
Aug. 13 – Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire – Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.
What do you think of these results? How do you like the semifinal match-ups?
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