Despite the loss, Ray Burse played very well in goal for FC Dallas.
M. Morales/Getty

FC Dallas fall to United in Open Cup play-in match

D.C. United scored a goal in each half to beat FC Dallas 2-0 and eliminate the club from the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Fred and Brandon Barklage scored in the 21st and 66th minutes for United, who dominated possession and proved the better side against a mix of FCD regulars and reserves.

Dallas had won the last two U.S. Open Cup meetings with United, both on penalty kicks, including the 1997 championship game.

Kenny Cooper, who came on as a late substitute, hit the left post on a penalty kick in 88th minute in a final effort to trim the United lead.

The loss spoiled fantastic effort from Ray Burse, who was equal to the majority of what United had to offer, pounding away a plethora of quality United opportunities throughout the match. Pablo Ricchetti showed his class throughout the match, sending an abundance of probing balls that tested the United back line.

Dallas gave Andrew Jacobson way too much time and space for the first promising scoring opportunity for either side, but the rookie's straight-on shot from 25 yards went just wide of the left post in the ninth minute.

Fred, Chris Pontius and Santino Quaranta combined nicely to continue the pressure on the Dallas goal early on, springing the Brazilian through the left channel, but his crafty chip to the far post floated just over the bar from inside the penalty area in the 10th minute.

In the 16th minute Daniel Torres hacked down Boyzzz Khumalo with a tackle just outside the penalty area. United's Marc Burch stepped up from near the top left corner of the penalty area and drove a rocket around the four-man wall that a perfectly positioned Ray Burse knocked away to safety.

Burse was among five FCD players who started Sunday's 3-2 win against Toronto FC, who again got the call from Schellas Hyndman. Rookies Peri Marosevic, FCD's 2009 first-round draft pick, and Alvaro Sanchez, both made their first starts, with the 24-year-old Costa Rican making his first-ever appearance in a Dallas jersey.

Hyndman was forced to make an early substitution in the eighth minute as Aaron Pitchkolan replaced George John, who suffered a left hamstring strain making a tackle earlier in the match.

Burse could not repel United's next chance in the 21st minute however, as Pontius and Quaranta were the main givers once again. The two combined nicely, with Pontius delivering the final ball from just outside the 18-yard box to Fred, who slipped behind Michael Dello-Russo and his left-footed flick beat the sliding goalkeeper to make the score 1-0.

FCD turned the momentum of the match after the goal however, with Ricchetti testing United's suddenly disorganized defense with multiple deft balls into trouble areas, though they were swept away by United defenders before they could make the final connection.

United countered regained that momentum late in the half as Khumalo played a simple ball down the right flank that gave the rookie Barklage the space to send a perfect ball to Quaranta near the penalty spot. But his low, first-time half-volley was saved again by Burse in the 44th minute.

United continued where they left off in the first half, immediately pressuring FCD with both Jacobson and Barklage firing long-range shots that just missed the mark in the first few minutes.

FC Dallas immediately countered that in the 50th minute, but Marosevic's header off a corner kick slipped just wide of the right post.

Burse's best efforts of the evening came on successive United shots in the 59th minute. After Pontius was taken down by two Dallas defenders some 28 yards from goal, Burch bent another left-footed rocket around the wall that Burse extended hard to his left to knock away.

On the ensuing corner, Burse was even better with a brilliant reflex save on a sharp downward header by Khumalo who had slithered free near the six-yard box.

As FCD hinted at opening up the match to get the equalizer, United punished them for it as Barklage scored his first professional goal to extend the lead to 2-0 for the home side in the 66th minute. Quaranta raced down the left flank to pick up a long ball out of the back, playing a ball around Pitchkolan and Dello-Russo to a wide open Barklage, who took two steps and fired a low, unopposed shot from 19 yards, beating an extended Burse.

Hyndman and United head man Tom Soehn countered substitutions around the 70-minute mark as Cooper was inserted for Jeff Cunningham as was David Ferreira for an obviously tiring Dave van den Bergh. Soehn, after taking out ironman defender Namoff, countered by inserting veteran Jaime Moreno to settle the ball and maintain possession for the home side.

Cooper made an immediate impact, blasting a long range free kick that tested United rookie goaltender Milos Kocic.

Ricchetti pierced the United back line again with a brilliant ball in the 76th minute but Eric Avila was unable to sufficiently get behind the United back line for a clear opportunity.

Three minutes from full time, FC Dallas won a penalty when referee Jeff Gontarek spotted Greg Janicki's handball in the D.C. box. But FCD failed to convert as Cooper smacked his spot kick off the base of the left post, then trapped the rebound himself -- drawing a quick whistle from Gontarek for touching the set piece twice in succession.

Chris Snear is a contributor to MLSnet.com.

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