Max Urruti marked an exemplary performance by equalizing just before halftime, and
Kellyn Acosta added another spectacular goal to his C.V. by bending home a free kick in the 58th minute. FCD conjured up several more chances in the final half-hour but couldn’t
add to the 2-1 advantage it will take to Mexico for the second leg on April 4.
Pachuca surprised FCD by swarming into the attack right from the kickoff, and Franco Jara punished some poor defensive play to score from close range. Right back Hernan Grana was beaten on the flank and Carlos Gruezo missed his attempt at a headed clearance, which left Jara with enough time and space to collect the cross and drill a shot past FCD keeper Chris Seitz.
Grana atoned just before halftime by swerving a cross that Pachuca keeper Alfonso Blanco palmed in front of goal, where Urruti sweetly volleyed it into the net. Boosted by the goal, FCD started sharply in the second half and scored after a Cristan Colman shot had been correctly disallowed for offside and Gruezo rang a long-distance blast off the crossbar. Acosta stepped into a free kick from nearly 25 yards out to whip it over the defensive wall and Blanco’s desperate dive into the net.
A late Pachuca push for a tying goal generated a series of attacks in the final minutes that required a tip-over save by Seitz and several vital clearances. FCD nearly scored a third goal in stoppage time when a counterattack breached Pachuca’s back line but a superb slide tackle by Raul Lopez stripped the ball away from substitute Aaron Guillen at the edge of the penalty area.
March 15 in Frisco, Texas
FC Dallas 2 Pachuca 1. Goals: Urruti 44, Acosta 58; Jara 3.
FC Dallas – Seitz; Grana, Hedges, Zimmerman, Figueroa; Gruezo, Acosta, Barrios (Akindele, 81), Lamah (Guillen, 89); Colman (Harris, 84), Urruti.
Pachuca – Blanco; Lopez, Gonzalez, Murillo, Medina; Hernandez, Gutierrez, Guzman (Rodriguez, 74), Urreta; Jara, Aguirre (Alvarado, 82).
Referee: Jhon Pitti (Panama).