Goals came aplenty Friday night as Austin got its first taste of Major League Soccer action.
FC Dallas and D.C. United combined for six goals as both teams won their respective matches to advance to the final of the inaugural ATX Pro Challenge Sunday afternoon.
The first match between FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew featured the theme of many missed chances. The Crew created the match’s first real big chance as forward Kei Kamara managed to get the ball past FC Dallas keeper Chris Seitz, but the ball ricocheted off the post. On the other end, Dallas found itself with the ball in the box on multiple occasions, but failed to pull the trigger.
Finally, in the 29th minute, FC Dallas forward Blas Perez ripped a shot from just outside the box past Crew keeper Steve Clark to put the Texas side up 1-0.
Then the match became the Fabian Castillo show.
Just minutes after the Perez goal, Castillo got the ball in space on the left side of the pitch and beat his defender. The subsequent shot was blocked by Clark, but midfielder Ryan Hollingstead was there to get the rebound and double the FC Dallas lead.
Six minutes later, the Columbian forward repeated the same play, getting a shot on goal only for Hollingstead to put the ensuing rebound into the back of the net to give FC Dallas a 3-0 lead into halftime.
Columbus would score 20 minutes into the second half as midfielder Kristinn Steindorsson finally managed to get a shot past Seitz; however, FC Dallas managed to hang on in the end for a 3-1 win.
D.C. United’s match against tournament host, the Austin Aztex, proved to be much easier.
Fielding a starting lineup of primarily second and third teamers as well as one trialist, United opened the scoring nine minutes into the match as midfielder Miguel Aguilar drilled one past Aztex keeper Devin Perales.
Less than 10 minutes later, United forward Connor Doyle capitalized off of an Aztex turnover to double the lead.
Austin had its fair share of chances, however, it was thwarted primarily by the offsides flag. The Aztex were called offsides four times in the first half, including once where the ball ended up in the back of the net.
FC Dallas and D.C. United will square off for the tournament title at 3:15 p.m. Sunday with Columbus and Austin preceding that at 1 p.m.