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Dallas Soccer News - FC Dallas, US Open Cup, Atlanta Silverbacks, Daniel Antoniuk, Carlos Ruiz

US Open Cup - FC Dallas over Atlanta

Published 7/11/2007 8:28:58 AM by staff from fcdallas.net
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FC Dallas advanced to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Monday, prevailing over the USL First Division Atlanta Silverbacks 4-3 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw through extra time at Pizza Hut Park. 

The teams traded second half goals, with Carlos Ruiz striking for the Hoops in the 74th minute and the Silverbacks drawing level just four minutes later, as Daniel Antoniuk finished off a Rodrigo Rios free kick from 40 yards out. The Silverbacks played the final 38 minutes of the game a man down after Antoniuk was sent off in the 82nd.

After finishing both overtimes tied at one goal apiece, the sides went back and forth through five rounds of penalty kicks until the Silverbacks' Scott Buete, their sixth shooter of the night, sent his effort high.  FC Dallas midfielder Arturo Alvarez stepped up to the spot with the game on the line and converted, sending a high drive into the middle net to clinch the win for the home team.

In the opening half, FCD outshot the Silverbacks 5-2 but the game was scoreless heading into the break. In the third minute, Chris Gbandi was on the receiving end of a Ramon Nunez corner but Atlanta midfielder Tony McManus was standing at the far post to make a goalmouth block and end the threat.

Then, in the 40th minute, Alvarez looked poise to draw first blood for the home side when he blasted one toward the far post. Atlanta goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh made a spectacular diving save; after the ball popped free, Hoops midfielder Juan Toja made a run at it, but McIntosh beat him to the punch, upending the Colombian to kill the chance.

Both of Atlanta's first half shots came from midfielder Rafique Hassim. In the third minute, he got a one-on-one opportunity with FCD goalkeeper Dario Sala but the Argentine 'keeper came off his line and met Hassim near the penalty spot to make the save.  Then, on the last play of the half, Rios streaked up the left side of the pitch and shot one toward the FCD goal, but Sala was there for the stop.

In the second half, FCD once again controlled the run of play, outshooting the Silverbacks by a 14-4 margin.  FCD's first great chance of the second frame came in the 51st when Nunez took a corner to the right of the Atlanta goal. That kick bounced to Alvarez, who sent a scorcher toward the opposing net that looked poised to find net inside the upper 90, but McIntosh was again there to push the effort over the crossbar.  Ruiz got a great opportunity in the 59th. The Guatemalan international ripped a low shot, but McIntosh robbed him with a great diving save, getting his fingers on the ball to send it over the endline.

The Hoops finally hit paydirt in the 74th when Ruiz netted his first goal since April 12. The FCD striker hit a shot from about 20 yards out that beat McIntosh inside the far post.  The advantage proved fleeting as Atlanta drew level in the 78th. Rios took a free kick from about 40 yards out, a blast that Antoniuk appeared to deflect while being closely marked by FC Dallas center back Clarence Goodson. His carom went past Sala to level the match.

Just three minutes later, Antoniuk was given his walking papers. After taking Moor's legs out from under him, the Atlanta striker and USL point leader whipped his left leg around, hitting Moor in the face. He was then dispatched from the field by referee Colin Tait.

With the score knotted at 1-1, the teams headed to extra time, where Ruiz had another great chance in the 95th after receiving a great cross from Alvarez. The Hoops captain got airborne for a header, which hit the ground before bouncing and going to the right of the goal.  Only a minute later, FC Dallas was awarded a free kick on the left edge of the box. Ruiz took it, but it was right at McIntosh and the Atlanta 'keeper made the easy save.

In the second extra time session, the Hoops again controlled the run of play. Ruiz had shots in the 107th and 112th minutes, but on both occasions, McIntosh was there to deny the FCD captain's bid for his second goal of the night.  The host side's best chance to avoid penalty kicks came in the 115th when speedy forward Dominic Oduro had a one-on-one with McIntosh, but the Ghanaian striker missed an open net as his shot went wide right.  FC Dallas had one last chance in the 120th when Aaron Pitchkolan attempted a header to put his side ahead, but his shot was high.

After Rios converted the first penalty kick for Atlanta, beating Sala to the right, Ruiz stepped up for FCD and tucked one just inside the left post to make it 1-1.  Former FCD defender Justin Moore then stepped up for Atlanta but Sala saved his kick to the left. The Silverbacks also missed their next kick as Dayton O'Brien's went high over the FC Dallas goal.

The Silverbacks went unpunished for the misses, as the Hoops also missed their second and third attempts, with both Pablo Ricchetti and Toja's efforts being saved by McIntosh to his left. Atlanta then converted their next two with both Angel Rivillo and Hayes connecting.  FC Dallas answered with Gbandi, Thompson converting, and then after Buete missed, Alvarez sent the Hoops into the quarterfinals of the Open Cup for the fifth straight year. FCD have now advanced to the quarters in 10 of their 12 years in the tournament.

They will face the winner of Tuesday night's match between Houston and USL side the Charleston Battery, which will be held at Charleston's Blackbaud Stadium. Should Dynamo prevail, FCD will host their in-state rivals on August 7. If the Battery emerge victorious, the Hoops will have to travel to Charleston on the same day.



Label: FC Dallas, US Open Cup, Atlanta Silverbacks, Daniel Antoniuk, Carlos Ruiz
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