DALLAS - After a close loss on Sunday, the U-18s needed a win Monday at Richland College against Queretaro from Liga MX to stay alive in the Gordon Jago Super Group and that's exactly what they got.
A cagey first half saw neither side really threaten goal with multiple FC Dallas corner kicks failing to create any chances.
With the stiff wind at their backs, FCD took control of the match in the second half. Toshiki Yasuda came close multiple times while long-range efforts from Eddie Munjoma also threatened the Queretaro goal.
With fifteen minutes to go in the match, recently added forward Gustavo Lopez was brought off the bench looking to find the go-ahead goal. In the 80th minute off a corner kick, Lopez rose higher than the rest and headed in the decisive goal to give FC Dallas the 1-0 win over their Liga MX counterparts.
"I think that tactically the boys had a great game yesterday and that rolled over into today," head coach Francisco Molina said after the win. "The guys were focused and this is a very competitive team. They don't like to lose, they take it personally and I think the best team won today. We deserved a point yesterday, but we're here to win and I take my hats off to these boys."
The win moves FCD into a tie for second place in the group with Middlesbrough who lost to Fluminense 1-0 on Monday. FC Dallas is still alive in the Gordon Jago Super Group at Dallas Cup, and need to win over Middlesbrough, likely by multiple goals, to advance to Friday's semifinals at Toyota Stadium. They will play 'Boro at 7:30 on Wednesday night at the Cotton Bowl.
"Staying alive is a key to it and a year ago we [lost our second game] and didn't have this," said Molina. "You never know, there are a lot of second place teams with three goals so we're looking at goal differential and it's going to be a great game."
U-15s drop second game of group stage
By Javier Navarro
FC Dallas U-15 Go Down to 9 Men, Lose to LA Premier FC
It was a frustrating afternoon for the FC Dallas U-15 Academy as they fell 2-1 to LA Premier FC during game two of the preliminary stage of the 2016 Dr Pepper Dallas Cup at Moneygram Soccer Park.
The first half saw the team go down a goal during the early stage of the match with LA Premier scoring in the 12th minute. FCD struggled in the half by having many of their attacking chances get broken up by the LA Premier defense, as well as Dallas having difficulty getting many clean possessions.
The 15s came out the second half much improved by finally getting some rhythm and creating chances. Things started to turn around for FCD as they were awarded a penalty during the 55th minute. That’s when forward Kevin Kim stepped up and buried the penalty to tie the game 1-1.
Despite things looking more promising for the team in the second half, the referee showed a red card to forward Jose Garcia-Reyes and the team, down a man, conceded a goal with 10 minutes left in the half. Things got worse when another red card was shown to defender Jose Rivera after a hard tackle minutes later.
The FCD U-15s will play their third and final match in Bracket E of the U-16 division against TSF Academy on Wednesday, March 23, at 6:00 p.m. at MoneyGram Soccer Park. Currently, three teams in the group are tied with three points a piece with Dallas being in second place. Dallas will have to win and await the results from the other group games to advance to the knockout stage.
A day of mixed results across age groups
Overall, it was a day of mixed results on Monday with FC Dallas teams going 5-6-2 overall.
FC Dallas 98 Premier currently leads their U-18 division on goal differential with one match to play while in the U-17 age group 99 Gold has already advanced to the knockout round with a game to play.