FRISCO, TEXAS – It was Dallas against England here Sunday at Pizza Hut Park, as the Dallas Cup kicked off action with a pair of high-profile matchups in the SuperGroup: FC Dallas U18 Academy team vs. Chelsea FC, and Dallas Texans U18 Academy vs. Tottenahm Hotspur.
Along with a U.S. vs. Mexico U20 match, the matches highlighted an earnest effort to attract a big crowd to the stadium here, which is approximately 40 miles north of downtown Dallas.
This year in the SuperGroup, there are four groups and 16 teams, so a team must win its bracket to advance to Friday’s semifinal. In past years a wildcard qualifier was included.
A couple of nervous moments in the back cost Hassan Nazari’s team, who fell to Spurs despite a game effort.
Texans dodged a bullet early when Spurs’ Kudus Oyenuga put a ball into the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Then Texans’ Zach Barnes had an effort cleared off the line by Spurs’ Calum Butcher.
Spurs went on top 1-0 at the 13-minute mark, with an unmarked Massimo Luongo heading home a cross from left back Anton Blackwood. Spurs’ midfielder Thomas Carroll was making a good impression on the game, exhibiting a stellar first touch along with vision and passing skill.
Spurs’ lineup featured a lot of 92s and 93s to the Texans’ 91s and 92s. Both teams were trying to connect passes on the ground and it was a good game to watch. Calum Butcher created the next, connecting on a 30-yard piledriver that Texans’ goalkeeper Ryan Aubrey did well to catch.
Spurs came close to making it 2-0 at the 35-minute mark, with Oyenuga volleying over from the 6-yard box on a cross from Paul Ebunge. The North London side came closer still moments later when Luongo’s shot beat Aubrey but caromed off the upright. Ebunge was putting on quite a show out wide with his considerable footskills and quickness.
Gino DePaoli picked out his Texans’ teammate William Diebold with a good cross-field pass to put him into the Spurs’ area, but the English side’s Samuel Cox ended the threat with a quality tackle.
In the 2nd half, Texans nearly equalized on a surging run down the left flank from Christopher Sendejas, but the fast forward’s shot from close range crashed off the crossbar and the match remained 1-0.
Texans then earned a free kick via a yellow card offens by Spurs’ Samuel Cox. The ensuing free kick was from 20 yards out,andAaron Reifschneider’s drive, was deflected into the back of the net to make it 1-1 in the 58th minute.
Reifschneider then went to the other end of the emotional spectrum, as he felled Tottenham’s Alex Pritchard in the area for a penalty. Blackwood took the spot kick and converted to make it 2-1.
Texans had a couple of good chances to equalize in the closing minutes but couldn’t convert, and Spurs emerged victorious.
Aaron Reifschnider, Ray DeLeon, Jacob Garnett, Mark Daus
M: Zach Barnes, William Diebold, Brett Helm, Jared Blincow
F: Christopher Sendejas, Gino DePaoli,
Subs: Blake Wise, Aaron Simmons, Daniel Gonzalez, Brandon Perez, Ethan Meyer
Coach Hassan Nazari
GK: Oscar Jansson
D: Anton Blackwood, Calum Butcher, Nathan Byrne, Thomas Carroll
M: Scott Durojeiye, Massimo Luongo, Paul Ebunge, Jake Nicholson
F: Kudus Oyenuga, Samuel Cox
Subs: Alex Pritchard, Jesse Lassen, Zaine Angol
Coach John McDermott
Chelsea and FC Dallas waited until late to score most of the goals, but the English side prevailed in the match, which featured some great individual talent.
Dallas lost goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra to a serious-looking injury early in the match.
Forward Ruben Luna, last year’s USSF Development Academy Player of theYear, was putting on a show with tricks and smart moves in the forward third for Dallas.
But Chelsea’s Daniel Pappoe put the English side up 1-0 with a close-range effort in the 28th minute.
Dallas’ Steven Adams made a good move on the left and after his cross eluded the goalkeeper, Damion Rosales missed a header from point-blank range. Moments later, Luna volleyed from inside the 6-yard box, but Chelsea’s Pappoe cleared off the line and the teams went to halftime 1-0.
Rosales came close again to scoring early in the 2nd half, racing down right wing and unleashing a shot from a sharp angle, but Chelsea’s Niclas Heimann made an alert save.
On the other end, Chelsea’s Jhon Pirez showed good close control and a powerful turn as he fired a drive into the back of the net from 25 yards to make it 2-0.
FC Dallas showed a lot of skill in the match, but Chelsea had a definite advantage in the strength department, winning most of the individual battles for the ball.
Chelsea made it 3-0 on another finish from Pirez, then Dallas pulled one back with a good effort from Jonathan Top. Ruben Luna then scored with a placed shot to make it 3-2 at 88 minutes, but Chelsea’s Jacopo Sala powered an effort home to finish off the match once and for all for the Blues, 4-2.
GK: Niclas Heimann
D:Mohammed Ahamed, Daniel Pappoe, Kenneth Strickland, Aziz Deen-Conteh
M: Billy Clifford, Jacopo Sala, Aliu Djalo, Gokhan Tore
F: Marko Mitrovic, Daniel Philliskirk
Subs: George Saville, Ben Sampayo, Anton Rogers
Coach: Dermot Drummy
GK: Jaime Ibarra (Zachery Downes)
D: Moises Hernandez, Daniel Premenko, Jael Barrera, Giovanni Gomez
M: Victor Ulloa, Brian Duran, Damion Rosales
F: RubenLuna, Jose Perez, Steven Adams
Subs: Jack Coleman, Bradlee Baladez, Chris Figueroa
Coach: Oscar Pareja
Japan U19 MNT 3, Tigres 2
Chivas 4, Hoffenheim 2
Monterrey 3, Alajuelense 0
Mexico U20 MNT 1, USA U20 MNT 0
Tottenham 2, Dallas Texans Academy 1
Chelsea 4, FC Dallas Academy 2
Cruzeiro 2, CZ Elite (California) 1
Eintracht Frankfurt 3, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Toronto 4, Texans FC 0
Knowsley Youth 3, AYSES Gold 0
Chorillo 3, Dallas Texans Red South 1
Lewisham College 2, Solar SC 2
Andromeda U18 Academy 3,Royal Navy 0
Archbishop Tutu 2, Gators
Dallas Texans U16 Academy 8, Yali Middle School
Erin Mills 1, Solar U16 Academy 0
Monterrey 4, Dallas Texans West 1
Andromeda Academy 4, Alajuelense 3
Dallas Texans Red 3, Capital Football 0
Pumas 2, Texas Longhorns 2
Solar Red 2, Prepa Tec 0
TFC 0, Monterrey Royados 0
Dallas Texans 1, Oakville Raiders 1
Solar SC 3, Chinook United 2
Dallas Texans 2, Escola Monterrey 2
Solar Red 2, Prepa Tec 0
Eintracht Frankfurt 4, FC Dallas 0
Andromeda Red 2, SKHY 0
FC Dallas 3, Ravenswood 1
Dallas Texans South 3, San Nicolas 1
Solar SC 2, Prepa Tec 0
Dallas Texans 2, Loyola Caracas 0
Dallas Texans 1, Club Mana 0
Dallas Texans South 1, Tigres 0
Andromeda Red 1, Pumas 0
FC Dallas 4, Universidad de Monterrey 1