Dallas (AFP) – Kellyn Acosta scored off a second half free kick as FC Dallas rallied for a 2-1 win over Mexican side Pachuca in the first-leg semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The 21-year-old homegrown Dallas product, who was also called up to the US national team on Wednesday, curled a shot into the top half of the net in the 58th minute to beat a diving Alfonso Blanco. The red-hot Acosta now has four goals in five competitive games this year.
The teams meet again on April 4 in Pachuca for the second leg of the semi-final.
Franco Jara took advantage of a sloppy play in the box by Dallas to put Pachuca ahead in the third minute.
But Maxi Urruti netted the equalizer for the Major Soccer League side just before halftime in front of a crowd of 8,900 at Toyota Stadium.
Acosta was one of two FC Dallas players who were called up to Bruce Arena’s Team USA earlier Wednesday. Acosta and Walker Zimmerman will represent the US in a pair of upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama.
“We believe in those guys,” Arena said.
In the other semi-final first leg, Tigres UANL took a giant stride towards the final of the CONCACAF Champions League after defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on Tuesday.
The winners of the CONCACAF Champions League qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in Tokyo each year.
FC Dallas is trying to reverse a disturbing trend in Champions League.
Since the tournament was switched to a Champions League format, no MLS side has ever won, with Mexican teams dominating.
The Los Angeles Galaxy were the last MLS team to lift the title in 2000.