FRISCO - Just over two weeks removed from suffering a broken toe, forward Santiago Agudelo came off the bench to score two goals including a 94th-minute game-winner to give the FC Dallas U-18s a 3-2 win over Colorado Rush in the US Soccer Development Academy national quarterfinal match at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas opened up the game early in the 11th minute when Yannick Koffi sent a shot towards the box that was cleared off the goal line straight to Antonio Aguilar. He easily slid it past Colorado goalkeeper to give FCD a first half lead.
Dallas held possession of the ball for the majority of the first half not allowing Colorado to get much of a chance to put the ball in the goal and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
“We were composed in the first half, got a deserved goal and we kept the shutout,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said about the first half.
The second half saw a lot more action with FCD scoring their second goal of the game in the 58th minute when Santiago Agudelo received a long ball that he was able to flick in for the goal on his first touch of the game after substituting into the match.
Colorado staged a furious comeback, however, late in the match when they were granted two penalty kicks within ten minutes of each other.
In the 76th minute, FCD goalkeeper Charlie Furrer fouled a Colorado player inside the box. Eduardo Reza took the penalty kick and was able to get the away side within one of the lead.
The referee awarded a second penalty kick to the visitors in the 86th minute to the dismay of the Dallas crowd as two players jostled for a long ball in the box. Eduardo Reza took the PK for Colorado again and was able to notch the game at two all with his second goal in ten minutes.
It looked as if the game was going to go into extra time as the clock was winding down, but Agudelo scored the game-winning goal in what was to most likely be the last possession of the game. Agudelo received the ball at the top of the box, turned and found a way to toe-poke the ball into the back of the net in the 94th minute sparking wild celebrations on the Dallas sideline.
For a team that has overcome adversity all season, it was a fitting cap to their playoff run which will now extend into the final weekend of the Development Academy season for the fourth time in the last five years.
“What we did today was a result of us learning a lot of lessons throughout the season and never stopping believing,” said Gonzalez. “They were composed. They were determined, and they didn’t let anyone take this from them.”
"I want to congratulate Colorado Rush on a great season," Gonzalez added. "They are a great team and unit that made the game very difficult for us. I give those players and coaches a lot of credit with the way they played today.”
FC Dallas will travel to the StubHub Center in Carson, CA for their national semifinal on Thursday, July 17th with the semifinal winners playing in the national final on Saturday, July 19.