Dallas Burn forward Eddie Johnson scored a pair of goals and midfielder Ronnie O'Brien added another as the Burn defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-0 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tonight at the Cotton Bowl. With the victory, the Burn will now face the Kansas City Wizards in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, August 4 in Kansas City.
The Burn came out the aggressors in the first half, outshooting the Rapids 9-1, but, as had been the case at home lately, they were unable to find the back of net in the initial stanza. Their first opportunity of the match came in the eighth minute after sustained pressure in the Rapids end. Ronnie O'Brien stripped Mark Chung just inside the right side of the box and went straight at goal. With options in front of the net, O'Brien tried to blast the ball from a poor angle only to have his shot carom off of charging Rapids goalkeeper Scott Vallow. Just moments after another O'Brien near miss, the Rapids had a great chance on a quick counter-attack with Chris Henderson finding Chung all alone on the left flank. Chung took the ball in one-on-one with Burn 'keeper Jeff Cassar, but Cassar was able to parry away Chung's attempt.
Oscar Pareja had a go for the Burn in the 22nd minute, unleashing a shot from 20-yards out that seemed destined for the upper-left corner but instead smacked off the crossbar. In the 33rd minute, Carey Talley found Eddie Johnson with a through ball at the top of the box. Johnson took one touch before trying to chip over a charging Vallow but his shot sailed high.
Dallas finally broke through in the 60th minute on a clinical finish by O'Brien. Jason Kreis sent a cross from the right flank to Johnson near the penalty spot. Johnson flicked the ball onto O'Brien, who one-timed a rocket into the upper-left corner of the goal. The Burn doubled their lead in the 67th minute with O'Brien and Johnson reversing their roles. O'Brien shook free of two defenders at the top of the box and cracked a shot that caromed off of the right post. The ball ricocheted to Johnson to the right of the goal and Johnson struck a left-footer into the upper-right corner.
Johnson capped off his evening with a second tally in the 75th minute. Simo Valakari played the ball across the midfield stripe to Ramon Nunez, who had entered the match just one minute earlier. Nunez sprung Johnson one-on-one with a through ball that Johnson slotted into the lower left corner.
"I thought the first half they came with the game plan of sitting back," said Burn Head Coach Colin Clarke. "We had a lot of possession but some of our passes and finishing weren't great. But we always looked like if we got one we'd get two, three or four. I think there was a collective sigh of relief when the first one went in and the boys enjoyed it from then on."
1 2 F Colorado 0 0 0 Dallas 0 3 0Scoring Summary:
COL - None
DAL - O'Brien (Johnson) 60', Johnson (UA) 67', Johnson (Nunez 75')
COLORADO RAPIDS - Scott Vallow (Joe Cannon 70'), Antonio de la Torre, Nat Borchers, Ritchie Kotschau, Joey DiGiamarino (Kyle Beckerman 46'), Chris Henderson, Matt Crawford, Seth Trembly, Mark Chung, Jordan Cila (Alberto Delgado 57'), John Spencer (Rey Angel Martinez 64')
DALLAS BURN - Jeff Cassar, Carey Talley, Cory Gibbs, Clarence Goodson, Matt Behncke, Ronnie O'Brien (Bobby Rhine 80'), Simo Valakari (David Wagenfuhr 84'), Oscar Pareja (Ramon Nunez 74'), Brad Davis, Jason Kreis (Jordan Stone 74'), Eddie Johnson
COL - Crawford 35', Borchers 81', Martinez 83'
DAL - None
COL - Borchers 81'
DAL - None
Referee: Marcel Yonan
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Gary Owen
4th Official: Adam Garner