FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas and newly promoted Liga MX side Club León played to an enthralling 3-3 draw at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday night with León coming out the victor on penalty kicks.
George John, Jackson and Bobby Warshaw tallied for FC Dallas in the draw that sees their all-time friendly record against Mexican clubs move to 5-9-3.
León took an early lead through an unlikely source. Winger Edgar Pacheco’s 10th minute corner kick found the head of central defender Iván Pineda and he made no mistake from close range, beating FCD goalkeeper Chris Seitz with a powerful header.
Things began to get chippy after the goal with referee Ismail Elfath showing yellow cards to three León players in a five-minute span midway through the first half.
Soon after, FC Dallas leveled things as homegrown signing Bryan Leyva sent in a hard cross finding the head of James Marcelin. The Haitian’s header flicked directly onto the knee of defender George John and past León goalkeeper Christian Martínez to pull FC Dallas even in the 24th minute.
FC Dallas pushed forward and nearly took the lead just before half as FCD right back Hernán Pertúz found some space on the right, sending in a cross to a crashing Jackson, but the Brazilian could only get a slight touch on the ball that was saved by Martínez.
León changed their entire squad at halftime, bringing in many of their starters, but it was the home side that struck early in the second half.
A fantastic through ball in the 49th minute saw Jackson played in on goal with just the 'keeper to beat. The Brazilian rounded León goalkeeper Edgar Hernández in goal only to have his shot saved off the line by Ignacio González. Showing a taste of South American flair, Jackson latched onto the rebound and scissor-kicked it home to give Dallas a 2-1 lead.
With many of their starters now in the match, the Liga MX side wouldn’t be losing for long. In the 53rd minute, Edwin Hernández played a nice ball over the top to Sebastián Maz. One-on-one with Seitz, the Argentine lobbed the FCD 'keeper to once again pull things level in the 53rd minute.
The back-and-forth match took yet another twist in the 64th minute. León's Colombian winger Eisner Loboa found Carlos Peña at the top of the box. The Mexican had time to turn and fire a shot that deflected off defender Matt Hedges and past Seitz to give the Mexicans their second lead of the evening.
There was one further sting in the tail as FC Dallas found a scrappy equalizer in the 83rd minute. Dallas pushed forward in search of an equalizer earning a corner kick taken by Ricardo Villar. The kick found the head of Argentine forward Matías Jara playing in his first game for the club. His effort flicked off the foot of midfielder Bobby Warshaw and dribbled over the line to pull FCD even.
With a trophy at stake, FCD and León went to penalties with León's Edgar Hernández saving Villar's and Scott Sealy’s attempts to earn the Mexican side the triumph on penalty kicks by a score of 4-3.