CARSON, Calif. (Aug. 10, 2016) – Nobody at the StubHub Center could believe it. Nobody, that is, except those on the field in a red uniform. What looked like certain elimination after going down 1-0 in the 101st minute, FC Dallas netted two goals from Matt Hedges and Victor Ulloa in the 116 and 121st minutes to advance to the 103rd U.S. Open Cup Final in miraculous fashion.
“We’ve fought so hard this season and we’ve come back from many things,” said Ulloa, who scored the game-winning goal. “Our mentality was we wanted to take it back home and win a championship. We didn’t put our heads down and we kept going.”
Dallas were on their heels the majority of the game. They threatened with a few dangerous counter-attacks, but the pace of the game was largely controlled by the Galaxy. After the two sides traded missed opportunities in regulation, Los Angeles took the lead thanks to Mike Magee’s 101st minute penalty kick.
Gyasi Zardes and Giovani dos Santos, who subbed in together in the 74th minute, combined brilliantly in the first half of extra time. Zardes was able to split the defense outside the 18-yard box and play a perfect through ball to dos Santos. Dallas keeper Chris Seitz came charging off his line and his last-gasp dive tripped up the Mexico international, forcing referee Ted Unkel to point to the penalty spot.
Adjusting the captain’s armband, Magee calmly stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick. He placed it perfectly in the lower right corner, as Seitz leapt the other way.
But Dallas’ center back Matt Hedges knew it wasn’t over yet. With his team awarded a corner kick in the 116th minute, he was able to find space inside the box and smash home a header off of a perfect delivery from Mauro Diaz.
“It’s hard to really put it into words how we feel,” said Hedges. “We practice our free kicks and set plays every day and for it to come at a time like that is an amazing feeling.”
Dallas pushed to make sure the match would not be decided by penalty kicks. Into stoppage time of the extra frame, the visitors were awarded yet another corner kick. Diaz again delivered the ball on a dime into the penalty area, and Ulloa headed it inside the right post to cap the improbable comeback.
“All of the hard work that this team has done throughout the season, I think we deserved it and we showed it,” said Ulloa. “We had the character and resilience to fight through, and thank God I had the chance to score that goal.”
The win sets up a rematch of the 2007 Final with the New England Revolution and leaves FC Dallas one victory away from ending the club’s 19-year trophy drought, having last lifted silverware in the 1997 U.S. Open Cup. Like in 2007, FC Dallas will once again host the Final at Toyota Stadium, with the chance to end the drought in front of their home fans. The date and kick off time of the Final will be announced at a later date.
“We have that mentality that we need to win a championship for this team,” said Ulloa. “Now we have a great opportunity ahead of us at home in front of our fans who deserve it.”
- Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Match Report -
Match: LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas
Date: Aug. 10, 2016
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Weather: 70 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 ET1 ET2 F
LAG 0 0 1 0 1
DAL 0 0 0 2 2
LAG – Mike Magee (penalty kick) 101st minute
DAL – Matt Hedges (Mauro Diaz) 116
DAL – Victor Ulloa (Mauro Diaz) 120+1’
LAG: 12-Brian Rowe; 25-Rafael Garcia, 22-Leonardo, 27-Dave Romney, 3-Ashley Cole; 6-Baggio Husidic, 21-Jeff Larentowicz; 40-Raul Mendiola (17-Sebastian Lletget 91’), 18-Mike Magee (capt.), 24-Emmanuel Boateng (10-Giovani dos Santos 74); 9-Alan Gordon (11-Gyasi Zardes 74)
Substitutes not used: 1-Dan Kennedy, 20-A.J. DeLaGarza, 34-Nigel De Jong, 44-Daniel Steres
Head Coach: Bruce Arena
DAL: 18-Chris Seitz; 14-Atiba Harris (8-Victor Ulloa 46), 24-Walker Zimmerman, 24-Matt Hedges, 31-Maynor Figueroa; 7-Carlos Gruezo, 10-Mauro Diaz (capt.), 23-Kellyn Acosta; 21-Michael Barrios, 37-Maximiliano Urruti (9-Getterson 90+1’), 12-Ryan Hollingshead (13-Tesho Akindele 67)
Substitutes not used: 1-Jesse Gonzalez, 2-Aubrey David, 5-Norberto Paparatto, 77-Mauro Rosales
Head Coach: Oscar Pareja
Stats Summary: LAG / DAL
Shots: 11 / 26
Shots on Goal: 5 / 11
Saves: 9 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 14 / 23
Offside: 1 / 6
DAL – Atiba Harris (caution) 26th minute
DAL – Victor Ulloa (caution) 53
DAL – Maynor Figueroa (caution) 75
LAG – Rafael Garcia (caution) 80
DAL – Carlos Gruezo (caution) 87
DAL – Kellyn Acosta (caution) 111
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Anderson
Assistant Referee 2: Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz