After catching eyes with his assist in the Round of 16 against the Colorado Rapids, Fabian Castillo had another excellent US Open Cup outing Wednesday as he beat Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis in the 91st minute to help FC Dallas advance to the semifinals of the nation’s oldest soccer tournament.
The goal was Castillo’s first of the 2016 edition of the tournament, helping Dallas build its edge to 3-1-0 against its Texas rivals in the Open Cup. It also was Dallas’ first win over Houston in three games this year.
The first half was a chippy affair, with few clear scoring chances.
The heat, an incredibly humid 91 degrees at kickoff, didn’t stop both teams from creating chances, but it may have prevented them from finishing said chances.
Dallas may have been tired from playing its fifth competitive game in 17 days, while Houston has had a dismal season, highlighted by Owen Coyle’s resignation to return to England with Blackburn Rovers.
Both teams seemed to take the game seriously, trotting out strong, but their finishing left a lot to be desired.
Dallas almost got on the scoreboard before halftime, when Michael Barrios got into the Dynamo penalty box off a Houston turnover only to be taken down without drawing a whistle.
The no-call from the referee was probably the right choice, but Houston wasn’t out of the woods yet.
A minute later, Maximiliano Urruti got on the end of a pass into the box from Mauro Diaz, but his near post shot was turned away for a corner that proved to be fruitless, leaving the teams scoreless after 45 minutes.
Minutes into the second half, Houston’s Mauro Manotas found himself unmarked in the box only to be denied by FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Two minutes later, Dallas forward Michael Barrios got into the box onside at the other end, but hit his shot right at Willis.
The teams continued to exchange chances, only to see each go wanting.
The heat may have even gotten to Dynamo forward Andrew Wenger, who openly requested a sub in the 68th minute despite not looking the least bit hobbled.
Moments later, Houston’s Giles Barnes was fouled on the edge of the box, earning a free kick that was ultimately wasted.
The deadlock held until the 91st minute, before the number of added minutes had even been announced, when Castillo got into the box, bolted toward the near post and hit his shot with so much power it managed to skim off of Willis and into the net.
Cristian Maidana had one last chance for Houston but his free kick missed high and wide as time expired.
FC Dallas advance to the Semifinals for the ninth time in club history, which is tied for third-most in tournament history behind the Chicago Fire (12) and Kutis SC (11).
Dallas will face the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Semifinals. The date, time and venue will be announced on Thursday, July 21 at 11 a.m. ET.
FULL MATCH REPLAY: HOUSTON DYNAMO VS. FC DALLAS