A near-sellout crowd at Pizza Hut Park was treated to an exciting 2-2 draw between FC Dallas and reigning UEFA Champions League winners Inter Milan on Thursday night.
Nerazzurri manager Rafa Benítez’s starting 11 featured a number of big names, including Milito, Eto’o, Esteban Cambiasso, 19-year-old Philippe Coutinho, Maicon and Walter Samuel.
It didn’t take Avila long to threaten the reigning European champs' goal. Three minutes in, he took a shot from about 20 yards out that was stopped by Inter goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi.
Although the Hoops remained on the attack for much of the next 20 minutes, it was Eto’o who, in the 24th minute, nearly scored from distance. His shot, however, caromed off the left post and things remained scoreless.
Just one minute later, though, Milito gave Inter their first lead of the evening. The Argentine forward benefited greatly from a perfectly struck cross from right back Maicon. Milito rose unmarked and headed the ball squarely, putting it past fellow Argentine and friend Sala.
About three minutes before the break, FCD drew things level. David Ferreira took a corner kick on the far side of the pitch and possession fell to the feet of Avila. The third-year midfielder hit a nice cross that found John in the middle of the area, and the big center back was practically on his knees when he headed the ball past Castellazzi for the equalizer.
Benítez went to his bench to begin the second half, making a total of seven changes. Eto’o was one of the four who remained and, in the 64th, he artfully struck a ball that ended up in the back of the net for a 2-1 Inter lead. The striker from Cameroon left the game a minute later for Mancini.
Ferreira might have converted the PK to tie the game at 2-2, but it was Jeff Cunningham who did the dirty work. The veteran striker came on in the 68th minute for Milton Rodriguez and drew a foul from Marco Materazzi inside the area in the 74th minute, leading referee Jeff Gontarek to quickly point to the spot.
The Colombian midfielder stepped up to the spot and put the ball on the opposite side of second-half goalkeeper Júlio César’s dive for the equalizer. Ferreira then went off about four minutes later for Dax McCarty.
Hyndman brought on left back Moises Hernandez, a product of the club’s youth system who signed a pro contract last Friday, for his debut with four minutes left on the clock. But the score remained the same until the final whistle blew.
Thursday night’s game concluded Inter’s three-match American tour.
FCD return to league play on Sunday afternoon, when Philadelphia visit Frisco for the first time. The two sides played to a 1-1 tie earlier this year at Lincoln Financial Field.