Dallas Soccer DFW

US Open Cup - FC Dallas over Charleston

Published 8/8/2007 1:40:35 AM by staff from mlsnet.com

A little more than a year ago it took FC Dallas penalty kicks to get past the Charleston Battery in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This year, the Hoops made it a little easier on themselves -- but not by much, needing extra time to advance to the semifinal round in a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Blackbaud Stadium. 

Arturo Alvarez scored the game winner in the 96th minute, beating Battery 'keeper Dusty Hudock to the near post. It was Alvarez's fourth goal in the last five games for Dallas, including SuperLiga and league play.

But for the first half of the game, it was Dallas who was playing catch-up. The up-tempo game played in sweltering conditions saw the Battery take the early lead off a goal-of-the-year strike from the Battery¹s Stephen Armstrong in the 16th minute.

Dallas drew the game back level six minutes later when Clarence Goodson connected on a Dax McCarty corner kick.

FCD coach Steve Morrow, intent on advancing the Hoops in the competition they won in 1997, fielded the strongest team available, missing only goalkeeper Dario Sala (knee) and strikers Ricardinho (hamstring) and Carlos Ruiz (foot), who was a game-time scratch.

Early on, Dallas pushed the attack. Juan Toja tested Hudock early, and was dangerous until he injured his right ankle just before halftime.  Toja injured the ankle going into a tackle with a defender and hobbled through the remainder of the half on the flank and did not involve himself in the play. He was substituted at halftime, and will be evaluated when the team returns to Dallas on Wednesday.

Up until Armstrong¹s blast, the Battery had not tested Hoops goalkeeper Ray Burse, who was making his third start for the first team.  But there was little Burse could do on Armstrong¹s blast. With time to collect the ball, Armstrong set up his left-footed drive perfectly from 35 yards out, bending the ball to the far post just under the crossbar.

The Battery¹s lead was short-lived, and after Goodson¹s 22nd-minute header, Dallas continued to pressure the Battery goal. Goodson nearly connected again five minutes later on another set piece, but the ball was cleared off the line.

The hot and humid conditions took a toll on both teams going into the second half. The game slowed considerably, and was compounded by the defensive posture in the second half.

Still Dallas pushed for the go-ahead goal. Dominic Oduro, who entered the game for Toja, pushing Alvarez to more of a wide role, had a ball cleared off the line in the 80th minute. Two minutes later Drew Moor -- the lone goal scorer Saturday against Colorado in MLS play -- missed a volley wide from 12 yards out.

Late, the Battery inserted former Colorado Rapids players Aaron King and Jordan Hughes to run at the exhausted Dallas defenders, but neither proved to be a threat.

Alvarez sealed the game in the 96th minute off a Bobby Rhine pass from midfield. After collecting the ball inside the penalty area, Alvarez cut to the inside to set up his left foot, and caught Hudock cheating to the far post. With time to get the shot off, Alvarez calmly put the ball inside the near post, leaving Hudock stranded.

The win puts Dallas through to the Open Cup semifinals for the sixth time in the team¹s 12-year history. Dallas defeated D.C. United in the 1997 final to win the only trophy in club history; FCD finished second in 2005, losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final. The Hoops will face the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal between the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders. 

August 8, 2007 -- Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, S.C.


CHA - Stephen Armstrong (unassisted) 17
DAL - Clarence Goodson (Dax McCarty) 23
DAL - Arturo Alvarez (Bobby Rhine) 95

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