Tesho’s Form Dissolved
After a good preseason I was excited to see Tesho Akindele get a start. My excitement turned to disappointment rapidly as the game unfolded. Tesho was out on the left-wing, not his best spot, but nevertheless he failed to impress against weak opposition. His dribbling, passing, and overall decision-making left a lot to be desired. Would he have been any better starting up top?
A Slow Affair
With a 4-0 lead going in, it was expected that this game would be slow, and it was. The game was chippy throughout, had several attempts to injure Michael Barrios, and some rugby challenges from both teams. It was a bit disappointing to see the Hoops come out and coast to an aggregate win, but not wholly unexpected. This backfired late on when Dallas got caught napping for 2 goals for Arabe Unido in 3 minutes.
Those late game set pieces turned the tide and defeated FC Dallas. The defending was disjointed and sloppy on both allowing Arabe Unido to score their first and second goal ever in a Concacaf Champion’s League knockout game. Dallas loves to break a streak. Was this a product of late game laziness in a game already won, or a bad sign of things to come this season? Dallas has always had trouble defending set pieces, and I’m leaning towards the latter.
A few players stood out in this match.
Firstly, congratulations to Paxton Pomykal on his first competitive appearance. He had a quiet part in the second half, but didn’t look out of his depth.
The other homegrown, Aaron Guillen, went a full 90 minutes and played well. He also had a pretty quiet evening, but showed some solid defensive work. FC Dallas can feel a bit more secure about their center-back depth.
Chris Seitz made some great saves throughout the night, especially on some tricky free kicks, and long range blasts. He had a great game until the defending at the end dissolved his well-earned clean sheet.
Finally, Michael Barrios had a pretty good performance and was Dallas best player. He looked threatening, driving down the wings and creating an own-goal, Dallas only goal of the evening. Him and Hernan Grana are going to be a real threat on the right side throughout the season.
Onwards and Upwards
Dallas progresses 5-2 on aggregate, and will play Pachuca in the semi-finals, despite the win by Arabe Unido. Expect much stiffer competition from the Mexican side.