FC Dallas forward Cristian Colman (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Arabe Unido in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on February 23, 2017, in Frisco, Texas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
FRISCO, Texas – In their competitive debuts for FC Dallas against visiting Arabe Unido on Thursday, four newcomers don’t have to worry about needing a second chance to make a first impression.
FW Cristian Colman, DF Hernan Grana, MF Ronald Lamah and MF Javier Morales did just fine in a 4-1 win to open the 2017/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
The quartet’s performances drew high praise from both FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja and teammates.
“The newcomers came in and did a tremendous job,” said FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta. “Lamah was great, Cristian had a goal, Grana at right back did well and Javi coming in, I thought he did a tremendous job. We have great additions that make our team more complete and we just want to continue on that path, keep scoring goals and keep winning.”
While Acosta bagged a second-half brace himself and Colombian winger Michael Barrios scored FCD’s fourth in second-half stoppage time, it was Colman who helped settle the home side’s nerves with a fine finish in the 30th minute to open the scoring.
It was just the type of goal that showed why the MLS side was so eager to sign the 22-year-old Paraguayan from Nacional during the offseason.
“Cristian’s responsibility is to put the ball into the back of the net, his priority is to score goals,” Pareja said. “Cristian has that instinct and scored for us. He was phenomenal, in the second half especially. He had a few chances, which gives us optimism about what he can do in the league. He did a great job and we are very happy.”
After defeating Panamanian opposition for the first time in three SCCL matches, FC Dallas will look to close out the series next Wednesday in Panama City and reach semifinals for the first time.