FC Dallas celebrate the game-winning goal in extra time stoppage time against the LA Galaxy in the 2016 US Open Cup Semifinals. Photo: FC Dallas
Oscar Pareja knew his team had goals in them.
Trailing in the second overtime, FC Dallas scored twice after the 115th minute to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, in overtime on Wednesday, Aug. 10, in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal round game at the StubHub Center. For the Galaxy, it snapped a 17-game home winning streak in the tournament. Their last loss came in the 2000 Semifinals against the Chicago Fire.
“I could see that coming; Not just the second one but the first one, too,” Pareja said. “Our players were pushing, we were all heart there, and I thought the game rewarded them in the best way.”
Matt Hedges headed in a goal in the 116th minute, and Victor Ulloa tallied at the death for FC Dallas, which advances to play New England Revolution in the Open Cup Final in September.
“We’ve proved that this team is full of spirit. The boys are doing great stuff,” Pareja said. “They deserve to be in the final for sure.”
A rematch of the 2005 Open Cup Final, the Galaxy led 1-0 after a penalty kick by Mike Magee in the 10th minute over the first overtime, but both teams were slow to get started.
Alan Gordon, starting as L.A.’s only forward, had his shot on goal in the 17th minute stopped by Chris Seitz, and FC Dallas replied with a pair of shots that challenged Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe to make reactionary saves.
Ryan Hollingshead of FC Dallas races to the ball in a 2016 US Open Cup Semifinal match against the LA Galaxy. Photo: LA Galaxy
The visitors had the better of the play in the second half, but the Galaxy’s Baggio Husidic nearly won the game with a long-range effort in second-half stoppage time. However, his shot was a little high of the mark.
Neither team gave an inch during the start of the first overtime period, but Giovani Dos Santos was tripped in the area in the 100th minute, and Referee Ted Unkel saw enough contact to award the Galaxy a penalty.
Magee stepped up to take the spot kick, faked Seitz right and easily beat the keeper on his weak side.
L.A. did its best to defend into the closing minutes, but FC Dallas earned a corner kick five minutes from full time that Matt Hedges headed in for the late equalizer. It was Hedges second career Open Cup goal, the first coming in 2013.
Dallas got another corner in stoppage time, and Mauro Diaz placed another dangerous ball into the box to get his second assist as Victor Ulloa snuck in to score the game-winner.
“Certainly frustrating,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We did a terrible job, obviously, in the last five minutes of the game.”
For Dallas, it continues a string of dramatic victories in the tournament. They opened the tournament by getting taken to penalty kicks by the USL’s Oklahoma City Energy and followed that up with a 2-1 extra time win over the Colorado Rapids. In the Quarterfinals, they played their first road game, beating the Houston Dynamo 1-0 on a second half stoppage time winner by the recently departed Fabian Castillo.
Now, with the win, they will host the Revolution in the Final, just like they did in 2007. That year, the Revs won 3-2 to win their first major trophy.
* This was just the third US Open Cup match of the Modern Era (1995-present) to be decided on a goal scored in the 120th minute or later. The Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) avoided an upset by the PDL’s Carolina Dynamo with a 3-2 win in the 2004 Third Round. A year later, Chivas USA were nearly taken to penalty kicks by the Charlotte Eagles (USL-2), but scored in stoppage time to escape with a 3-2 victory.
* This was the 30th all-time US Open Cup win by FC Dallas, which moves them into fifth place in the Modern Era in victories behind the Chicago Fire (39), Rochester Rhinos (36), Seattle Sounders (35), and DC United (31).
* Dallas will be the sixth Texas-based club to reach the US Open Cup Final, and the fifth team from North Texas. Of those six teams to reach the Final, FC Dallas represents four of them (1997, 2005, 2007, 2016).