FC Dallas Overcomes Early Deficit to Stay Atop Group A

Three goals in eight minutes late in the first half helped propel FC Dallas to a 5-1 victory over San Diego Surf on Thursday evening at the 2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16/17 Playoffs. The home club scored first in Oceanside before FC Dallas responded with five unanswered goals, two from Michael Sosa and one each from Diego Maynez, Collin Smith and Philip Akem, to earn the come-from-behind victory.

The first chance of the contest came in the eighth minute as FC Dallas kept the ball alive in midfield, allowing David Rodriguez to latch onto it, but he pulled his left-footed shot just wide of the post.

A minute later it was San Diego Surf going in front on an own goal. Jose David Perez Munoz played a cross in from the left for San Diego Surf that deflected off an FC Dallas defender and into the net to give the local fans something to cheer about early on in Oceanside.

San Diego Surf had another chance in the 22nd minute as Jack Hagan's right-footed drive forced a save at full-stretch from Seth Wilson in goal for FC Dallas as he tipped the shot around the post for a corner.

FC Dallas nearly equalized in the 27th minute as the speed of Smith helped create a chance for Rodriguez. Smith drove into the box and found the run of Rodriguez who powered a shot off the bar as the Surf maintained in 1-0 lead.

The MLS Academy side did draw level three minutes later as Sosa converted from the penalty spot to even the game at 1-1 on the half-hour mark. Diego Letayf earned FC Dallas the penalty as he was fouled on the edge of the area and Sosa went with the Panenka to finish from the dot, starting an offensive explosion to close the half for FC Dallas.

Not long after the kickoff FC Dallas went in front through Maynez. The Frontier Division champions created a turnover directly from the restart and Rodriguez played a chipped ball into space behind the San Diego Surf defense to Maynez who was all alone on the right side of the box. Maynez finished past Surf goalkeeper Joseph Diaz to put FC Dallas in front, 2-1, in the 31st minute

Sosa scored his second to give FC Dallas a 3-1 lead in the 38th minute. Rodriguez pulled the strings near the top of the box, finding Smith on the right side and his low shot was stopped by Diaz but he couldn't control the rebound as it fell right to the feet of Sosa who buried the rebound to give FC Dallas a two-goal lead heading into halftime.

San Diego Surf regrouped at the break and created a trio of opportunities inside the opening five minutes of the second half, the last coming with a near-post header from a corner by Mateo Zazueta that went just wide.

A minute later the Surf had another opportunity to cut into the FC Dallas lead as Hagan danced his way to the byline and clipped a ball back across goal that hit the underside of the crossbar but stayed out as FC Dallas maintained its 3-1 advantage.

The Surf continued to pour pressure forward but was unable to take any of its chances in the early moments of the second half.

Just past the hour mark FC Dallas had an opportunity to increase its lead on the counter through Rodriguez. Jonathan Gomez burst into the box down the left side and unselfishly squared it to Rodriguez but Diaz did just enough to pressure Rodriguez into firing high over the top of the net.

FC Dallas added to its lead in the 73rd minute as Smith gave the MLS Academy side a 4-1 lead. Rodriguez started the play on the left wing, switching the ball across the field where it was laid off for Smith whose a curling effort found the side-netting inside the back post, giving FC Dallas a three-goal lead.

A minute before full-time, Akem added a fifth for FC Dallas as he stayed onside to receive a pass from Eduardo Ruiz and slotted home a final goal to finish off the victory.

FC Dallas will look for its third win in the group stage when it plays Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday while San Diego Surf will conclude group play against Atlanta United FC. Both of those matches are scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. PT.

Watch the full match here: https://ussoc.cr/ckfd