DALLAS, TX - A week removed from the Dallas Cup Super Group, it was right back to work for Dallas Texans and FC Dallas as they faced off in a key Texas Division USSF U18 Development Academy matchup. Heading into the game, FC Dallas held the top spot in the division with two points and a game in hand on second place Texans, meaning first place was on the line in this high-stakes match.
Things would remain as they were at the start of the day with an 89th minute penalty giving Dallas Texans a controversial 1-1 draw against FC Dallas at The University of Texas-Dallas.
The match, played on a sun-drenched muggy Saturday afternoon in North Texas, started slowly with both teams feeling each other out in the first 20 minutes. FCD held most of the possession through the first half, looking to attack through Brian Leyva down the right side and Daniel Garcia on the left. It was Garcia who opened the scoring in the 29th minute with a fantastic individual effort.
For Texans, the first half was a bit of a struggle as the size of Moises Hernandez, Byron Ramirez and Jack Coleman at the back gave the route one style of Texans problems. Caleb Richardson and Clint Ritter failed to connect like they normally do on offense while midfielder Aaron Simmons picked up an early yellow card limiting his abilities in the middle. FC Dallas would take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
The second half was more of the same as Dallas would hold the lion’s share of possession while Texans looked to hit quickly on the counter attack. FCD nearly doubled the lead in the 53rd minute with Byron Ramirez, a rock on the left side of defense for Dallas all afternoon, sent in a cross eluding Jacob Speed. Garcia was allowed to chest the ball down but his half-volley went just over the bar.
Speed nearly inflicted damage on his own goal just minutes later as his intervention of a pass into Jonathan Top was mishit onto the Texans crossbar.
Texans frustrations would show as the game wore down, earning three yellow cards in the span of five minutes, but their frustration would turn to joy.
Almost inevitably, FC Dallas was forced to rue their missed chances as in the dying moments of the game Moises Hernandez was called for a penalty on Ritter. A seemingly innocuous cross was sent in with Hernandez rising to head the ball away as Ritter tumbled to the ground. The referee pointed to the spot, whistling Hernandez for putting his hands on the shoulders of Ritter giving Texans a last-minute penalty.
Senior Jacob VanCompernolle, committed to UNC-Wilmington in the fall, stepped up and buried the last second penalty to keep Texans just two points behind FCD with five games to play.
GK: Richard Sanchez
D: Byron Ramirez, Jack Coleman, Moises Hernandez, Nicholas Rochowski (Skylar Hagan)
M: Victor Ulloa, Daniel Garcia, David Robledo (Flavio Guzman), Victor Pinal (Jose Perez), Bryan Leyva
F: Jonathan Top