When you saw the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas in last season’s MLS Cup Final, you thought it was going to be a boring final. But to be fair it was a very good final that sadly never had the star power it could’ve had if the Galaxy or the Red Bulls would’ve faced each other.
But as two rookies in the CONCACAF Champions League that finally got their chance in international club competition, you never thought you would see a crazy first half and all of a sudden history would be made on the same night.
Let’s head over to Colorado where the Rapids were facing Salvadorian side Isidro Metepan and the crazy first half I was talking about. Drew Moor has to be the luckiest player on the Rapids starting eleven as he caused an early mistake by bringing down Allan Kardeck in the second minute and was booked.
Kardeck did convert the penalty in the second minute yet while it looked like Moor got an easy out with the yellow card. He nearly put his side down a man but somehow got a lucky break. Being down a goal he was defending Christian Bautista and all of a sudden Bautista fell down in the 36th minute.
You could tell he was penalty hunting and trying to draw a second on Moor, but afterwards there was a horrible moment as Moor stomped on the right leg of Bautista and the referee pointed to the spot for a second penalty. The strange thing though was that no red card came out for Moor and when the action was being replayed the penalty was wiped out as the ref thought they were in an offside position.
A great goal came in the 25th minute from the brother of Liverpool forward and Uruguayan international Luis Suarez as Paolo Suarez caught Matt Pickens way off his line after he got taken out. Pickens tried to continue the play, but Suarez intercepted the ball and chipped the ball in.
Macoumba Kandji finally returned from his long and lengthy knee injury after winning last year’s MLS Cup. He got the Rapids back in the match with a brace, by scoring a great leaping header in the sixteenth minute from a great cross by Scott Palguta. His second came in the last minute of regulation in the first half. It was a weak attempt from the cross, but it had enough to cross the entire goal line.
Kandji became a helper in the beginning of the second half as he found an unmarked Andre Akpan in the area and the match winner was scored in the 50th minute to cement the victory. Metepan was down to ten men as Allan Kardeck was sent off on a straight red in the 41st minute.
From the mountains of Colorado to the history making moment down in Mexico City, as FC Dallas did the impossible. After twenty-five attempts to earn the full three points either in international club competition or in World Cup qualifying, a first division American side finally made history.
The only goal of the match in the 66th minute was a long distance rip by Jair Benitez that nailed the near post, only to have Martin Chavez convert the rebound. The hope and dream came true as UNAM Pumas put out a young side and became the first team to allow a MLS team to grab a win on Mexican soil.
From the wild and wacky to the trumpets sounding victory in a country that has been difficult to break through and secure a legitimate win, this victory by FC Dallas is feeling pretty good for Major League Soccer and the US.