FC Dallas’ 2014 US Open Cup campaign has come to an end, in the most painful of ways as they lost their semi-final on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union at Toyota Stadium on Tuesday night.
ZacMacMath was the hero for Philadelphia as he saved two penalties, one off of Blas Perez and the second from Victor Ulloa to seal the 4-3 shootout win for Union to advance to their first US Open Cup final.
With the tournament hitting its semi-final stage neither side rested their key players which lead to plenty of action, but also an exhausted starting XI for both sides after playing on Saturday.
The physicality of the match was perhaps the most notable element of the first half, with few chances for either side in the opening 45 minutes. With a result of that physical play FC Dallas had run through their entire bench before the second half had started.
In the 37th minute Walker Zimmerman came off after an earlier knock while at half time, Mauro Diaz, recovering from injury was taken off alongside Adam Moffat who seemingly succumbed to a knock.
Two minutes in to the second half Philadelphia had the lead as a quick Vincent Nogueira free-kick allowed US Open Cup record goal-scorer, Sebastien Le Toux the opportunity to draw defenders and set up some AmobiOkugo who was left with an easy finish to score the opener.
FC Dallas could well have conceded a second moments later as Le Toux very nearly scored, getting space to shoot and beating the keeper but not the post, as it bounced back off the woodwork, letting Dallas off the hook.
After that initial period on the back foot, the match evened out but neither side was really able to get any clear chances away until Dallas started going for the match late on.
Nine minutes from time a MacMath error allowed Dallas to draw level as a counter from FC Dallas drew out the Philadelphia keeper, who missed the ball after Perez played it through, leaving Fabian Castillo wide open and with a simple finish.
Both sides fought hard in the final nine minutes and in extra-time, trying to find a winner, in an unusual play for extra-time in a cup semi-final, with the match becoming more open but neither side could find a goal, setting up the match for MacMath’s atonement.