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Dallas Soccer News - FC Dallas takes opening Champions League match at Alianza, Jackson, Brek Shea

FC Dallas takes opening Champions League match at Alianza 1-0

Published 7/29/2011 12:09:21 AM by staff from dallas
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FC Dallas passed a major hurdle Thursday evening in the CONCACAF Champions League campaign as they won a difficult match in El Salvador 1-0 over Alianza FC.  There were plenty of factors working against FC Dallas in their first ever Champions League match.  The weather was a bit dicey as it rained the entire game.  A difficult travel schedule which found FCD in Canada just last week and several players nursing naggin injuries. 

It would have been easy to go down to El Salvador and be beaten.  Instead FC Dallas weathered the opening storm from Alzanza and completely controlled the second half on their way to an important victory.   In the match's opening moments, Alianza took to the offensive as FCD’s Hartman was forced to make a sprawling save to his left on a corner kick header inside the game's first five minutes.

Hartman would be a busy fellow in the game's first 45 minutes as Alianza forward Rudis Corrales, Castillo and Alianza fired six shots on the FC Dallas goal, including a breakaway opportunity for Corrales that Hartman turned aside with his body.  However, halfway through the first half, with the rain coming down heavily at Estadio Cuscatlán, Hartman nearly gave the home side the lead.

His clearance from inside his box landed short of the midfield line and at the feet of Corrales, but the Salvadoran international sent his long distance prayer just inches wide of the net.  The first half also proved to be a chippy one, as each team received two yellow cards from Canadian referee David Gantar with the rain increasing in intensity and the los Albos fans creating a raucous atmosphere.

FC Dallas came out of the second half restart taking the initiative after getting outmatched in the final third in the first 45 minutes.  The FCD eaned two corner kicks in the first 10 minutes after earning only two in the entire first half, setting the stage for the game's lone goal 20 minutes from the final whistle.

After gathering a majority of the second half scoring opportunities, the visitors made it official in the 70th minute, as Jackson took a flick from compatriot Ricardo Villar and driving by defender Edwin Martínez before slotting it by a helpless Jimmy Cuellar for the game's only goal.

As time wore on and the rain let up Alizanza began to tire while in-form FC Dallas used the legs of Marvin Chávez, Brek Shea, and Daniel Hernandez to control the tempo of the game.  Jackson’s late winner was the result of four touches on the ball by FC Dallas in the Alianza half of the field. Villar flicked the ball over two different defenders before Jackson finished the run emphatically.

FC Dallas will host the second leg of the series next Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Pizza Hut Park in hopes of qualifying for Group C, which will include Pumas UNAM (Mexico), Tauro FC (Panama) and either Toronto FC or Real Estelí (Nicaragua).

Label: FC Dallas takes opening Champions League match at Alianza, Jackson, Brek Shea
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