2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League
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CD Suchitepequez 2, FC Dallas 5 | 2016-17 CCL Match Recap

FC Dallas got the job done on a rainy night in Guatemala City on Thursday night, as a 5-2 win over Suchitepequez booked the MLS side's ticket to the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Dallas, which needed at least a draw to win Group H and move on to the knockout round in the competition, went down 2-0 midway through the first half before battling back and scoring five unanswered goals to make no mistake and grab all three points.

The hosts took the lead via Kevin Ruiz, whose flick off a corner kick bounced off Dallas' Tesho Akindele and bounded into the net in the 5th minute.

Suchitepequez doubled their lead in the 22nd minute via Wilson Morales' low shot, but Carlos Gruezo put FC Dallas on the board five minutes later with a looping header off an Akindele cross that went in just under the crossbar.

Dallas then leveled the match in the 35th minute, as Matt Hedges scored on another header, this one coming off a Mauro Rosales free kick.

Six minutes after the halftime break, Atiba Harris gave Dallas their first lead of the night, in rather fortunate fashion. He crashed the far post on Rosales' free kick, which Suchitepequez goalkeeper Manuel Sosa blocked. That block, however, bounced off Harris' chest and went right into the net, making it a 3-2 game to the visitors.

The hosts went down to 10 men in the 65th minute, as Rene Maltes put in a two-footed challenge on Dallas substitute Michael Barrios. Following the ejection, the weather turned, with monsoon-like conditions at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores, limiting chances in the closing minutes of the match.

Despite that, Barrios pushed for an insurance tally, and Ruiz reversed his earlier fortune, as he was the one to turn in an own goal in the 87th minute for Dallas. Just three minutes later, Carlos Lizarazo unleashed a rocket from well outside the box to give Dallas a three-goal lead and put up five goals on the road to end the group stage in emphatic fashion.

Box Score

  • 5' – CDS – Tesho Akindele (OG)
  • 22' – CDS – Wilson Morales (Julian Lalinde)
  • 27' – DAL – Carlos Gruezo
  • 35' – DAL – Matt Hedges (Mauro Rosales)
  • 51' – DAL – Atiba Harris
  • 87' – DAL – Kevin Ruiz (OG)
  • 90' – DAL – Carlos Lizarazo (Carlos Gruezo)
  • Full Box Score
  • Stats

Three Things

  1. DALLAS' RUN CONTINUES: It's a crucial week for FC Dallas, who in addition to this game are in the driver's seat to win the Supporters' Shield with a result on Decision Day on Sunday against the LA Galaxy. With one trophy already in the bag for the year in the U.S. Open Cup, sitting in the Supporters' Shield lead ahead of final day of the season, and passage booked to both the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs and now the 2016-17 CCL knockout stage, it's still coming up roses for FC Dallas. Still alive in three competitions, the trophy haul could possibly get much bigger for this club.
  2. RESERVES SHINE: With the Shield quest coming up at the weekend, Oscar Pareja opted to play a reserve-heavy lineup, with a few key starters offering stability, most notably in defense. His plan worked in the end, as despite giving up the two early goals, Dallas did not hang their heads and came back in efficient manner. In the end the regulars stood tall in jumpstarting the rally, as Gruezo notched his first goal in all competitions for Dallas, to go with an assist on the night, Hedges notched a timely goal, and Harris got the team (and the ball) over the line for the win. But Rosales, who will likely see more playing time with Mauro Diaz injured, played well, and Lizarazo's late tally could make him a bench option for the playoff run ahead.
  3. DECENT CCL START FOR SUCHITEPEQUEZ: Despite the lopsided loss, spare a thought for Suchitepequez. In the CCL for the first time, they entered the final matchday with a legitimate shot to advance to the quarterfinals. And their start was fantastic, especially playing in front of a raucous home crowd. Add to that the "home" crowd on the night, in Guatemala City, is 165 km from their normal home of Mazatenango. Given all that, and the superior talent and cohesion of FC Dallas, it was a pretty impressive CCL debut campaign for Suchitepequez.

Next Up

  • DAL: MLS: Sunday, October 23 at LA (4 pm ET; FS1 in US | MLS LIVE in Canada)
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