FC Dallas Tops Alianza FC To Advance In CONCACAF
FRISCO (AP) – Ugo Ihemelu scored in the 36th minute to lift FC Dallas to a 1-0 victory over El Salvador’s Alianza FC in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round match Wednesday night.
Following their 1-0 victory last Thursday in San Salvador, FC Dallas wins the two-game series by an aggregate 2-0 score, advancing to the group stage of the tournament for the first time in its history.
Dallas will compete in Group D, beginning with a visit to Mexico City on Aug. 17 to face Pumas.
Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who leads the MLS with 12 shutouts this season, made two saves.
Players on both sides seemed to be affected by the extreme heat. The temperature at game time was 107 degrees.
Pizza Hut Park personnel even herded all of the 4,604 fans to the west side of the stadium in order to keep them out of the sun.
Ihemelu, who has two goals in 22 MLS games this season, converted on a corner kick. Ricardo Villar delivered the corner into the middle, where Ihemelu leapt over Alianza defender Edwin Martinez for a header into the left side of the goal.
Alianza’s best chance to score came in the 59th minute. Herbert Sosa eluded Dallas defender Zach Loyd to cut into the left side of the penalty area, then chipped a shot over the leaping Hartman, but the ball ricocheted off the crossbar.
The rebound went directly to Rafael Burgos, who headed it over the net.
FC Dallas thought they’d jumped on top in the 13th minute, but Villar’s apparent goal was waved off.
After Alianza goalkeeper Henry Hernandez blocked Brek Shea’s 7-yard shot, the ball bounced up on Villar, who seemed to knock it down with his forearm, drawing a hand-ball call, before volleying it into the net.
One bit of bad news for Dallas was the loss of standout midfielder Jackson Goncalves, who scored the lone goal in last Thursday’s first leg, to what appeared to be a right ankle injury in the 38th minute.
After he was tripped up by Alianza’s Herbert Sosa, Goncalves stayed down in a lot of pain before being carried off on a stretcher.
The severity of his injury wasn’t yet known.
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