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FC Dallas vs Minnesota United: Highlights, stats and quote sheet

All the facts from FC Dallas’ win over Minnesota.

FC Dallas advanced into the Western Conference semifinals last night after surviving penalty kicks against Minnesota United.

Head Coach Nico Estévez

On the match…“First of all, when you are in the playoffs and you have a playoff game, even at home, it is always difficult because the teams have high quality. We came into the game very well, right away we controlled the game in possession. At the beginning it was difficult with their very compact lines. Soon we started playing diagonals which helped us open up a little bit. When a team is very good in structure like Minnesota was, playing in a 4-4-2 (formation) very compact with no space in between the lines. We did a good job not rushing. In the second half we increased the tempo and that helped us create goal-scoring opportunities. It was really important how the team responded to a goal against and it showed the mentality of this young group.”

On Maarten Paes and the defense…“Our defensive work today was pretty good. For the shootout, Maarten (Paes) is a special goalkeeper. In the big moments, he shows up and we knew that in a shootout it would be a good moment for him. He’s very committed to the club. He’s very committed to his teammates, and we knew that he would show up in that PK.”

Midfielder Sebastian Lletget

On the game…“It’s an amazing accomplishment for this team. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been blown away by the camaraderie, the confidence in this group, the character has been amazing. So now we go to Austin and it’s going to be very tough. But you know we celebrate today and then tomorrow we recover and then we build on the week.”

Forward Alan Velasco

On stepping up to take the final penalty kick…“It was a game full of tension and stress throughout the match. It was my first ever playoff game and the boys were fully focused. We were able to come out on top thanks to the hard work and focus from all the boys. In the penalty kick Nico asked who wanted to shoot and I told him I wanted to be the fifth taker. He was able to organize the penalty kick takers and it helped us throughout the shootout.”

On the semifinal versus Austin FC…“We know that Austin FC is a difficult team to play against. We have faced them twice this season and they have been able to come from behind to tie the match. That is the past now. We trust our work, our coaches and we trust each other. It will be a good match for soccer fans and we will fight to come out on top.”

Goalkeeper Maarten Paes

On maintaining focus into the shootout…“It is very difficult because even in the extra time, they’re a very good transition team and you can never lose your focus and concentration as a goalkeeper, so they say goalies don’t get tired but mentally it’s very, very exhausting sometimes. And 120 minutes after such a long season, yeah, but I’m so happy we did it together as a whole team, that was awesome.”

Midfielder Facundo Quignon

On the goal he scored to tie the game at 1-1…“It was similar (to the goal he scored against the Houston Dynamo). There’s a flick and I appeared on the second post. Javi (assistant coach Javi Cabello) is the guy who usually gives us the set pieces. I try to help the team and I am very happy with the goal.”

On defending Minnesota United’s Emanuel Reynoso…“We know that he’s a great player. We knew that and we tried to be very close when he received the ball. I think he played well. You never know when he turns and plays one or two touches. It was a tough game but I think we controlled Minnesota. I think they had only two or three shots on goal. So, defensively we were good. In these kinds of games, one distraction can be a goal.”