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FC Dallas Too Much for Energy FC in Open Cup

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 06/12/19, 10:02PM EDT

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Memphis ousted by Orlando City SC at home; North Carolina falls on road to New York City FC


Michael Barrios was among the goalscorers for FC Dallas as it defeated OKC Energy FC in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night. | Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC

DALLAS – FC Dallas cruised into the Round of 16 as the hosts scored early and then twice quickly either side of halftime to earn a 4-0 victory against OKC Energy FC on Wednesday night in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The hosts took the lead after just 11 minutes when a corner kick from the right side by Michael Barrios was met perfectly at the near post by Matt Hedges for a header that tucked into the left corner of the net. Eight minutes later Dallas carved out another chance only for Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi to get down well and save from Jesus Ferreira, and Laurendi made another good save to deny Dominique Badji after the FCD forward cut onto a through-ball for a shot from the left side of the penalty area.

Badji again went close twice for Dallas midway through the half as the hosts continued to hold most of the possession, first sending a header just wide of the right post in the 25th minute and then a minute later having a shot to the right corner saved by Laurendi. OKC came into the game a little more as the first half went on, but two minutes for the break Barrios added a second for Dallas as North Texas SC standout Ricardo Pepi played him in for a low shot to the bottom-left corner.

Seven minutes into the second half Dallas scored a third as Badji capitalized on a set play from a corner kick on the right that saw Ferreira fire a low delivery to the top of the penalty area that Badji struck first time into the top-left corner of the net.

Energy FC tried to find a way back into the game, but efforts by Deshorn Brown and Omar Gordon both missed the target around the hour-mark as the visitors had difficulty connecting in the final third. Dallas then put the game away with a penalty kick with a minute to go after Bryan Reynolds was brought down in the area, and Reto Ziegler fired low to the right corner to send the hosts through.

ORLANDO CITY SC 3, MEMPHIS 901 FC 1: Hosting a MLS side in a competitive match for the first time in club history, Memphis 901 FC welcomed Orlando City SC to Mike Rose Soccer Complex in a match that ultimately proved too much for the Championship side, who fell 3-1 to the Lions in the Fourth Round.

Keeping the contest close through the first 38 minutes, 901 FC defender Abdi Mohamed was judged to have fouled Orlando defender Shane O’Neill in the penalty area, leaving midfielder Sacha Klejstan to step up to the spot and beat Memphis goalkeeper Scott Levene, who did well to pick the right side despite barely missing a touch on the effort.

Though facing a one-goal deficit heading into halftime, the hosts found life just five minutes after the break when 901 FC midfielder Adam Najem found forward Elliot Collier at the near post, where he produced a well-placed header to beat City SC goalkeeper Adam Grinwis and bring the fans to their feet. However, Orlando were quick to respond five minutes after that when Klejstan doubled the lead after beating Levene with a finessed effort from close range off a pass by City’s Cristian Higuita. 

With the hosts chasing the game, City then added their third in final goal in the 71st minute when a ball headed down across the area was missed by the Memphis defense and fell to the feet of Orlando defender Robin Jansson, who tapped home from a yard out to seal the result.

NEW YORK CITY FC 4, NORTH CAROLINA FC 0: Keaton Parks scored twice as New York City FC pulled away from North Carolina FC in the second half of their encounter at Belson Stadium to advance to the Round of 16.

After a cautious start by both sides, North Carolina goalkeeper Alex Tambakis came up with two good saves to keep the game level, first staring down a one-on-one with Jesus Medina after a beautiful pass by NYCFC’s Maxi Moralez had sent Medina in behind the NCFC back line in the 10th minute. A minute later Moralez tested the Greek shot-stopper with a first-time shot to the left corner that Tambakis parried away to safety.

North Carolina’s first real chance arrived soon after as a corner kick from the left resulted in first a chance for Ben Speas that was punched away by NYCFC goalkeeper Brad Stuver. The rebound fell to Steven Miller, who fired a shot from 20 yards toward the top-right corner that Stuver made an impressive diving save to turn wide for a corner kick.

The hosts went close again as Tambakis made another good save to deny Medina in the 24th minute before Valentin Castellanos hit the crossbar with a lobbed finish on the rebound. New York took the lead a minute later, however, as an overlapping run on the left allowed Tony Rocha to center a low cross into the six-yard area aimed for Moralez but that deflected into the net off NCFC defender Aaron Guillen.

New York doubled its lead on the stroke of halftime as a quick counterattack down the left saw Rocha sent a sweeping cross to Medina, who finished to the bottom-left corner leaving Tambakis little chance. NYCFC then made it three in the 52nd minute when Keaton Parks put home a close-range header off a cross from the right by Juan Torres, and Parks wrapped up the victory with 14 minutes to go with a nice first-time finish off a clever passing move that saw Castellanos and Moralez set up the NYCFC youngster.

North Carolina hit the woodwork with 10 minutes to go as a first-time shot by Caleb Duvernay came back off the fight post and was corralled by Stuver, and Donovan Ewolo was denied twice from close range by Stuver in stoppage time first on a header and then on the rebound with a bicycle kick effort from his back, but that was as close as the visitors came to a consolation goal as their Open Cup journey came to an end.

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