CARY, North Carolina (Wednesday, July 9) – FC Dallas advanced to the semifinals of the 101st edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup via a 5-2 win over NASL side, Carolina RailHawks tonight at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Blas Perez netted three goals to lead FC Dallas, while Fabian Castillo had two assists and one goal of his own. FC Dallas will now host the Philadelphia Union in the tournament semifinals at Toyota Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 12. That match is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. CT.
FC Dallas began tonight’s match by surrendering a goal in the ninth minute of play. The RailHawks’ strike came following some strong combination play through midfield from Carolina. Ty Shipalane unlocked the defense with a first-time chip pass into space for Enzo Martinez. The midfielder got the ball on the right flank, dribbled into the area, and knocked a lateral pass inside to Zack Schilawski, who finished to the near post to put the home team up, 1-0, early.
Dallas answered in the 23rd minute when Je-Vaughn Watson fed Tesho Akindele a ball down the right flank towards the corner flag. Akindele caught up to the ball and fired a cross to the back post, where Perez hammered a header past goalkeeper Scott Goodwin.
Perez netted his second of the game in the 34th minute when substitute Andrew Jacobson knocked a through ball forward to Watson. The Jamaican right back arrived second to the ball, but was able to touch it past the defender and into the area. Watson walked the ball to the end line before delivering a perfect pass into the path of Perez, who beat Goodwin low to his right side.
Carolina pulled even again in the 37th minute when Nazmi Albadawi slid a pass inside to Cesar Elizondo. Elizondo touched the ball inside and shot, but had his attempt blocked by a slide tackle from Moises Hernandez. Unfortunately for the visitors, Hernandez was whistled for a hand ball after blocking the shot and referee Ricardo Salazar pointed to the spot. Martinez converted the kick for the RailHawks, sending Raul Fernandez the wrong direction and crushing a shot into the opposite corner of the goal to make it 2-2 in the 37th minute.
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Dallas pulled ahead, 3-2, just before halftime when Andres Escobar fed a ball inside to Castillo. The Colombian cut left after receiving the ball at the top of the area, went by a RailHawks’ defender and Goodwin before depositing a simple pass into the back of the net one minute before the halftime whistle.
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Perez used his third and final substitution in the 69th minute to bring on playmaker Mauro Diaz. The move nearly paid off immediately when Diaz and Castillo worked a 60-yard give and go that produced an open look for the Argentine from the top of the area. Diaz cracked a hard shot towards the far upper-90 but Goodwin came across his goal to make a solid diving save and keep the score, 3-2.
It took until the 89th minute but Diaz found the back of the net for FC Dallas when he collected the ball near midfield, ran at the RailHawks’ back line and sent the ball out wide to Castillo. The Colombian drew the attention of Goodwin before picking out Diaz at the back post. With Goodwin out to defend against Castillo, Diaz was able to slip a shot to the near post to make it 4-2.
Just before the final whistle, Perez recorded his third of the game. Castillo setup the Panamanian in the exact manner he provided the service to Diaz, seconds earlier. With plenty of time to stare down Goodwin, Perez finished off his hat trick with a low and hard shot to the far side netting.
CAR – Zack Schilawski (Enzo Martinez) 9
DAL – Blas Perez (Tesho Akindele) 23
DAL – Blas Perez (Je-Vaughn Watson) 34
CAR – Enzo Martinez (PK) 37
DAL – Fabian Castillo (Andres Escobar) 44
DAL – Mauro Diaz (Fabian Castillo) 89
DAL – Blas Perez (Fabian Castillo) 90+
FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Moises Hernandez (Stephen Keel 46), Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson, Fabian Castillo, Victor Ulloa, Hendry Thomas (Andrew Jacobson 28), Andres Escobar (Mauro Diaz 69), Tesho Akindele, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman, Adam Moffat.
SHOTS: 14, SHOTS ON GOAL: 9, FOULS: 6, CORNERS: 4, OFFSIDES: 0, SAVES: 1.
Carolina RailHawks – Scott Goodwin, Daniel Scott, Kupono Low, Austen King, Connor Tobin, Jun Marques Davidson, Ty Shipalane (Daniel Jackson 87), Enzo Martinez, Cesar Elizondo (Nick Zimmerman 70), Nazmi Albadawi (Aaron King 85), Zack Schilawski.
Substitutes Not Used: Nic Platter, Uriah Bentick, Nick Millington, Jordan Burt.
SHOTS: 14, SHOTS ON GOAL: 3, FOULS: 5, CORNERS: 1, OFFSIDES: 0, SAVES: 4.
CAR – Austen King (caution) 15
CAR – Kupono Low (caution) 61
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (caution) 76
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Parker, Eric Weisbrod
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik
Weather: Cloudy, 75 degrees