FC Dallas soars to win in Champions League quarterfinal

Published Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:36 PM by Shane Barrow

Watchout MLS. FC Dallas is back and looking stronger than ever.  What a performance FCD put on tonight in their opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup against Arbe Unido of Panama. This match was never close as the home side ran circles around their opponents from the south.

The 4-0 scoreline was sparing for the champions from Panama. It could have been much worse.  This Arabe Unido side had beaten CF Monterrey twice in the group pahse, but they were simply no match for FC Dallas.  The FCD centerback pairing of Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges was never troubled by the smaller AU players.

In the opening 20 minutes the Panamanian side were dodging bullets. Oscar Pareja's team would have been on the board early if it weren't for a string of saves from Miguel Lloyd during a 10th-minute barrage from the hosts. Roland Lamah then found the back of the net in the 15th minute after Max Urruti sprung him in the penalty area, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

The deserved opening goal finally came in the 29th minute when new striker Cristian Colman won a footrace to a through ball behind the Arabe Unido defense and smashed a first time volley past the onrushing Lloyd. The game would go to the break 1-0 to FC Dallas.

The second half would be all one way trafiic. Colman almost doubled his tally early in the second half after getting on the end of a pass over the top of the Arabe Unido defense, but his heavy first touch gave Lloyd just enough time to smother the ensuing shot attempt.

But the second goal for Dallas would come just minutes later. After some neat build-up play, Lamah set up Kellyn Acosta at the top of the penalty area where he curled a first time strike perfectly into the top corner past the helpless keeper to make it 2-0.  Great finish!

Dallas continued to press for a third, and it came in the 85th minute, Acosta settling a pass from Tesho Akindele at the top of the penalty area and firing an unstoppable right-footed shot past Lloyd.

With time running down, Dallas added a fourth on a lightning counter, as Tesho Akindele set up Michael Barrios to slot home past Lloyd and give the home team a nearly insurmountable cushion when the teams meet again for the second leg in Panama on March 1.  MLS sides who watched this one will see how strong FC Dallas will be this year and just wait until star Mauro Diaz returns from injury.