LA Galaxy 1, FC Dallas 2 | 2016 US Open Cup Match Recap
FC Dallas never said die in their 2016 U.S. Open Cup semifinal against LA Galaxy on Wednesday, and two late goals in extra time led to a stunning 2-1 win at StubHub Center that will send the victors to the Open Cup final at Toyota Stadium.
Matt Hedges scored off a corner kick deep in the 30-minute extra time period to tie up the game for Dallas, before Victor Ulloa scored on another corner kick late in stoppage time of the extra time period to take the win.
The first good chance of the game came in the 17th minute, when Alan Gordon's low shot was blocked near the goal line by a sliding Atiba Harris to keep the game scoreless. A few minutes later, Magee's one-on-one shot was blocked by Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
The play was tight for the first 20 minutes of the second half, before both sides played their way into the game and the proceedings opened up, but neither team could capitalize in 90 minutes.
The game then went to 30 minutes of extra time, and in the 100th minute, Galaxy substitute Giovani Dos Santos drew a penalty on Seitz, and Magee stepped up and converted the spot kick.
But just as it looked like LA would grab the victory and the game would not require a shootout, Mauro Diaz's corner kick was headed in by Hedges to tie up the game at 1-1, and Ulloa completed the comeback, off another Diaz corner, minutes later.
- 101' -- LA -- Mike Magee (PK)
- 116' -- DAL -- Matt Hedges (Mauro Diaz)
- 121' -- DAL -- Victor Ulloa (Mauro Diaz)
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1. FRANTIC FINISH: Based on the previous 100 minutes, when LA took the lead through the penalty, it appeared they had the game all but wrapped up. But Diaz's set piece delivery and the gritty finish by FC Dallas to hang with the game until the bitter end paid off, and while the first 99 minutes may not be must-see TV, the final six minutes of the game certainly were, given the way the game ended.
3. SELECTION STRATEGY: This year's run was the deepest LA have made in the Open Cup in the Bruce Arena era, and heading into the game, it appeared Dallas were playing a stronger lineup than the Galaxy. But to simply conclude Arena did not prioritize the USOC seems uncharitable. Throughout LA's run, Arena has played a mix of starters and reserves, and some players, including Raul Mendiola, earned more playing time as the run continued. At the same time, Arena opted to put key attackers in the end of the quarterfinal game against Seattle and in this game against Dallas, and it was the defensive effort that ended up costing the team a shot at the title.
2. ONE GAME AWAY: FC Dallas last won the Open Cup in 1997, and are eager to claim another trophy. Their opponents in the final will be the New England Revolution, who will be hungry for silverware, too, but even with the narrow margins of their victory against LA, Dallas would appear to be the favorites at home in the Open Cup final at this point.