Fulham crash out of Dallas Cup XXXV losing to Cortiba

Published Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:20 PM by William Montero
Fulham crash out of Dallas Cup XXXV losing to Cortiba

Welcome to the Dallas Cup XXXV Super Group match of the day.  Defending champions Fulham FC against Cortiba.  Both perfect through their first two Group A matches they will fight it out for the top spot and a place in the Friday semifinal round.  Advantage Fulham as they hold a superior goal differential,coming into the match and thus will win the group with a draw.  A tie would get both teams through though via the wildcard.

All eyes were on Moussa Dembele of Fulham. After a hat trick in the opener on Sunday he will be looked upon to carry Fulham from here.

It was a typically windy day with a solid 20mph wind out of the south.  Cortiba had the wind at their backs for the opening 45 and needed to take advantage of the conditions rather than face an uphill climb against it in the second half.

Fulham started well into the wind with big Moussa Dembele earning a corner early on.   Cortiba went straight the other way and earned a yellow card on a Fulham center back and a dangerous free kick 25 yards out.  Instead of shooting they elected to float the ball to the back post where it was easily cleared.

Cortiba were beginning to take advantage of the wind at their backs pinning Fulham into their own half.  The first good chance came in the 10th minute as a low ball was fired to the back post forcing a smart save from Fulham keeper Magnus Norman.

Fulham almost gifted Cortiba the opening goal as a poor backpass was stolen  by 9 on the run towards goal.  As the Fulham keeper raced out to meet him 9 hesitated with his shot allowing Norman to swallow him up.  Other than that mistake, Fulham were doing well managing the game with the wind in their faces thirty minutes into the match.

And as soon as I write that Cortiba scores!  Punishing Fulham on a corner kick.  A perfectly curled ball into the near post was headed home by Jose Carlos Junior.  Nice goal.  Minutes later Cortiba almost doubled their lead but Norman made a wonderful save deflecting the shot just over the crossbar.

The first half drew to a close with Cortiba holding onto the 1-0 lead.  Fulham would need their second consecutive rally.  At least they could count on a solid wind at their backs after the break.  Moussa Dembele would need to pay a more active role as he was mostly a non-factor in the opening 45.

The wind was giving Cortiba no problems at all in the opening ten minutes as they were getting the better of the early exchanges.  Magnus Norman was called into action as he went low to make another save.

Sixty minutes gone and Cortiba were clearly the better team so far.  Deserving of their lead.  Fulham would need to start pushing harder or the would find themselves out of Dallas Cup XXXV.

Fulham had a good chance in the 63rd minute as a volley was well saved by the Cortiba goalkeeper.  Cortiba were doing a good job limiting the Fulham attack.  It looked like Fulham's best hopes would come from a set piece if they could earn one.

In the 74th Fulham would be punished for a turnover in the midfield.  Cortiba broke out  on the run.  A perfect ball in behind the FFC defense for Italo to run onto was played.  His finish was true as Italo rolled the ball perfectly past Norman and into the corner for the 2-0 lead.  Fifteen minutes to play and Fulham were in big, big trouble.

Emerson Hyndman nearly grabbed one back for Fulham with ten minutes to play but his shot went off the post and put for a goal kick.

Cortiba put the dagger in the 86th as another turnover by Fulham went punished again.  This time a center back lost possession allowing Luccas Barreto to walk in on goal and score easily.

3-0 game over.  After such a promising start to the week, the defending champions crash out.  The impressive performance has to put Cortiba as tournament favorites now for sure.