CANCUN, Mexico – FC Dallas defeated Playa Del Carmen 1-0 today on a stoppage-time goal scored by rookie center back Matt Hedges. The goal came via corner kick after forward Scott Sealy earned the chance for Dallas. FC Dallas’ first Homegrown player, Bryan Leyva served the ball into the area, connecting with Hedges for the game-winner.
Playa Del Carmen held an advantage in possession to begin the match, but was unable to break down an organized FC Dallas back line. The Mexican second division side had its first chance of the game come via free kick from the right side in the 32nd minute. A lofted ball to the back post nearly found Enrique Campuzano, but fortunately for Dallas, Ruben Luna tracked back from his forward position to force Campuzano’s header wide of the right post.
FC Dallas was lucky not to give up another goal just two minutes later as Playa Del Carmen cracked the left post and crossbar behind goalkeeper Chris Seitz in a matter of seconds.
Dallas’ best chance of the half came in the 36th minute when a corner kick taken by Nicolas Gianni found Bobby Warshaw at the top of the area. Warshaw rose above his marker to hit a line-drive shot on goal, but the attempt was directly at goalkeeper Victor Lopez.
FC Dallas opened the second half on the attack, earning a corner kick in the 51st minute. A lofted ball to far corner of the six-yard box was won by Matt Hedges. Unfortunately for the rookie, his shot was also directly at Lopez.
Scott Gordon got forward on the right flank to knock a lateral pass to Bruno Guarda at the penalty spot in the 54th minute. The Brazilian made a good run to the ball, but once again the shot was hit directly at Lopez and the game remained scoreless.
Playa Del Carmen countered, gaining several free kick attempts near the 70th minute. FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez stood tall for the MLS side. The Homegrown player came off his line on multiple occasions to punch away crosses and relieve the pressure.
Nearing full time FC Dallas pressed in search of a game-winning goal. Scott Sealy started the rush, corralling a pass at the top of the area before being tackled to the ground to earn a free kick. The shot attempt taken by trialist Rodolofo Espinoza was partially blocked by the wall, but Jonathan Top hustled to the ball and got off a second attempt on goal that was knocked down and eventually covered by Lopez.
Moises Hernandez made a late run down the left flank that produced a scoring chance for Leyva on the opposite side of the field, but his low shot went just wide of the far post. The chance came seconds before Leyva connected with Hedges for the game-winner.
CF – Matt Hedges (Bryan Leyva) 90+
PDC – Fausto Ruz (caution; reckless foul) 87
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz (Richard Sanchez 45), Carlos Rodriguez (Moises Hernandez 61), Matt Hedges, Christian Ibeagha, Scott Gordon, Andrew Wiedeman (Rodolofo Espinoza 45), Bobby Warshaw, Bruno Guarda (Bryan Leyva 57), Nicolas Gianni (Kleyner Bejarano 75), Scott Sealy, Ruben Luna (Jonathan Top 64).
Playa Del Carmen – Victor Lopez, Mauricio Gomez (Israez Dimas 45), David Ballesteizos, Saul Nunez, Hugo Alvaizez, Enrique Campuzano (Fausto Ruz 59), Juan Pineda, Roberto Arriaga (Carlos Cauich 59), Leuel Tello (Daniel Vera 67), Mendiui Mis (Alfredo Madera 52), Alan Granados.