The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is a tournament made for heroes, and FC Dallas saw one come of age Tuesday night in Houston as rookie Tesho Akindele scored the game winner in a 3-2 extratime victory in the fifth round against the Dynamo.
“We’re super excited,” Akindele said. “It’s always good to beat Houston, in-state rivals, and go another round in the Open Cup.”
After the teams traded goals in regulation to make it 2-2, and both teams used a majority of their substitutions to deal with injuries, limited rosters and tired legs, it was the Canadian forward who made the brilliant play to separate the two Texas clubs.
His 98th minute goal came after a terrific move that started outside the Houston penalty area and included some individual skill inside the area before Akindele got off a powerful shot that Dynamo keeper Tally Hall could not handle.
“They left the pass short, I stole it and turned the guy, had some space so just put a shot on target and it went in,” Akindele said. “Overtime, everybody is tired, so it was really a big deal for all of us.”
Akindele is FC Dallas’ 2014 first round SuperDraft pick out of the Division II Colorado School of Mines. The forward has played nine games this season, starting six, and scored one goal and earned an assist in MLS play.
FC Dallas will now head to North Carolina in two weeks' time to take on the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League in the quarterfinals of the 101-year-old single-elimination tournament.