Pumas p2
Phillip Long

CCL Recap: FC Dallas 0, Pumas UNAM 2


FRISCO, Texas -- A month after losing to FC Dallas on their own turf, Pumas returned the favor Wednesday night getting goals from David Izazola and Eduardo Aguirre in a 2-0 momentum-changing win in Group C of the CONCACAF Champions League.

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Pumas’ Emilio Orrantia provided the two assists to Aguirre and Izazola, and the Mexican side rocketed to the front of the group based on a plus 5-goal differential.

In a game featuring matching red cards to FC Dallas’ Jackson and Pumas’ Luis Fuentes, the top two teams in Group C played a scoreless first 84 minutes until Orrantia took over from the right flank.

The Pumas midfielder took advantage of extra space from a tucked-in FC Dallas backline and fired a low cross to Aguirre for the game’s first goal that goalkeeper Kevin Hartman could only watch hit the back of the net.

In stoppage time, Orrantia – a second half substitute – had plenty of space inside the FC Dallas 18-yard box and placed a perfectly weighted pass to a running Izazola from six-yards away who had no trouble finishing.

Pumas head coach Guillermo Vasquez brought a majority of his first team to North Texas, including Martin Bravo, who scored three goals a week ago against Toronto FC.

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made several changes from his lineup used one week ago against Tauro FC including the insertion of Fabian Castillo, Brek Shea, Jack Stewart, and Jeremy Hall into the lineup.

With fullbacks Jair Benitez and Zach Loyd out due to yellow card accumulation, Ugo Ihemelu and Hall worked the fullback spots with Stewart manning the center of defense with George John.

Pumas threatened early, penetrating the FCD backline with long balls, but the first real opportunity came inside the first 10 minutes when Shea found a streaking Ricardo Villar at the near post only for the Brazilian to put the cross wide of the frame.

A 42nd-minute tangle between Jackson and Fuentes – where the Mexican head-butted Jackson who in turn retaliated with an elbow to the face – highlighted a first half low on offense and high on turnovers.

The only shot of the opening 45 minutes came when Pumas’ Javier Cortes outmaneuvered Jeremy Hall on a one-on-one inside the box and placed a shot right at goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

In the second half, Pumas persistently attacked in FC Dallas’ defensive third, and a header from defender Dario Veron nearly found the back of the net for the visitors if not for a sprawling save from Hartman to preserve the scoreless game.

FC Dallas was six minutes and change from a scoreless draw against the Mexican champions, but Orrantia provided two key assists to close the gap atop Group C with two games to play in the Group Stage.

In CCL play, FC Dallas will hit the road to Panama to play Tauro FC next Wednesday while Pumas travel north to play Toronto FC on Tuesday.