FC Dallas makes history, downs Pachuca in SCCL semifinals

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, first-leg encounter between host FC Dallas (red jersey) and Pachuca on March 15, 2017, in Frisco, Texas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

FRISCO, Texas -- FC Dallas made Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League history on Wednesday, rallying for a 2-1 win over visiting Pachuca to become the first team from the United States to defeat a Mexican side at the semifinal stage.

The first-leg result at Toyota Stadium means that FCD can advance to the final with a draw in the second leg at the Estadio Hidalgo on April 4.

Pachuca took a 1-0 lead in the third minute through Franco Jara’s cool finish.  After bursting into the left side of the box and getting to the goal line, Erick Aguirre snapped a pass with the outside of his right foot to Jara.  The 29-year-old forward controlled with his right thigh and allowed the ball to bounce, before hitting the back of the net with his right foot from eight-yards out.

The host responded with two unanswered goals, not letting the early setback minimize its performance.

Maxmiliano Urruti was in the right place at the right time to level in 43rd minute.  A right-sided cross by Hernan Grana – intended for Cristian Colman – missed its mark and was punched away by diving goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco.  The ball fell to Urruti, who first-timed it home with his right foot from 12 yards.

Matters were settled in the 58th thanks to Kellyn Acosta’s free-kick brilliance.  The midfielder stroked an emphatic right-footed effort from 25 yards under the crossbar and out of the reach of the left-leaping Blanco for his third goal of the competition.

The Tuzos nearly equalized in the third-minute of stoppage time, but FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz acrobatically tipped a Jonathan Urretaviscaya header over the crossbar.

The loss was Pachuca's first against U.S. opposition in three SCCL games.