Villar
Erik Davila

USOC Recap: Villar helps push FCD past Orlando City

FRISCO, Texas — With just moments to spare, Milton Rodríguez scored a winner in second-half stoppage to help FC Dallas hold off Orlando City 3-2 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

FC Dallas entered stoppage time up 2-1 but Orlando City’s Yordany Alvarez hit a cracking volley from outside the 18-yard box temporarily stunning the home side. However, not one minute later, substitute Rodriguez found himself on the end of a Jackson cross and his header tipped off of Orlando City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo for the game-winning goal.

With the win, FCD will now go on to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament, where they will face fellow MLS side Real Salt Lake.

Orlando City, formerly the Austin Aztex, entered the third-round matchup having played two games over the weekend in Antigua. The team arrived in Dallas on Tuesday, mere hours before kick-off.

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman began the game with seven starters from Saturday’s 4-0 win over the Portland Timbers. Goal-scoring midfielder Brek Shea, goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and center back Ugo Ihemelu highlighted the starting 11 for FC Dallas.

WATCH: Ihemelu's post-game interview

Before Tuesday, the second place team in the Western Conference hadn’t won a US Open Cup game since July of 2008.

FC Dallas began the game on the offensive, consistently working through Shea at left midfield. But it would be Orlando City that struck first.

Twenty minutes and some change into the first half, midfielder Lewis Neal sent in a cross that landed at Hartman’s back post. Forward Kevin Molino headed it back towards the front of the goal, where a waiting Max Griffin out-leapt captain Ugo Ihemelu for an early 1-0 Lions lead.

WATCH: Hartman's post-game interview

Griffin currently leads the USL in goals scored with nine, but his Open Cup goal wouldn’t stand for the remainder of the half.

In the 38th minute, FCD’s Ricardo Villar stroked a ball over the Orlando City defense to a streaking Jackson. The Brazilian utility-man gave the ball a perfect first touch and wrapped his right-footed shot around Gallardo to even the score.

The goal marked Jackson’s third in as many games since the 23-year-old re-entered the lineup.

In the 50th minute, Villar added a goal to his evening on a free kick from 20 yards out that beat Gallardo to the far post. It was the first goal of the season for the veteran Brazilian.

“I thought Ricrado Villar had a very good game,” Hyndman said. “Obviously he was named [Budweiser] Man of the Match. He scored a brilliant goal on a free kick and also created our first goal, getting an assist on the goal that tied the game, 1-1.

We brought him here knowing he had the ability to break down opposing defenses. He’s got great vision – a wonderful first touch on the pass. He hits a great service ball and shot. He will continue to get better playing on both sides of the ball, but going into the second half of our season, he continues to become more and more important to our team.”

WATCH: Hyndman's post-game press conference

With the match headed into stoppage time, it appeared as though FCD would trot to the finish. However, Alvarez’ stunning goal in the added minutes evened things up. FCD then pushed forward for a last-gasp winner, and they got it when Rodríguez managed to find the net with a header.

FC Dallas now return to MLS regular season play, where they will take on the Columbus Crew – who were upset hours earlier in Open Cup play by the Richmond Kickers – on Saturday at Pizza Hut Park.