To keep everyone up to date with all the happenings going on here in Dallas we will be proving wall-to-wall coverage every single day with pictures, video and a blog entry.
Day 4 – Tuesday, March 26th
After two tough games in back-to-back days RSL had their first and possibly only day-off at Dallas Cup pending the result of their final group game on Wednesday. The players went through a morning training session at a nearby field and then enjoyed a relaxing lunch. After this the players had some time to rest and get some homework done before they went over to a local mall. Some players watched a movie and others just walked around. After the mall they headed over to Olive Garden for a big dinner then back to the hotel to watch USA vs Mexico in a World Cup Qualifying game. After the game it was off to bed for RSL who had final group game Wednesday morning.
Day 5 – Wednesday, March 27th
Going into the third and final game in group play, RSL knew they needed goals. And a lot of them. After tying Dallas Texans in-game number two of group play, RSL was no longer in control of their own destiny. With both teams going into their final group game with 1 win and 1 draw and on equal terms in-goal differential +2, RSL needed a victory with a high goal differential to increase their chances to advance.
Their opponent was Lewisham College from England. RSL’s Starting XI: Eric Gonzalez, Santi Carrillo, Bayley Scholz, Corey Nemeth, Jon Zabasajja, Tigran Tiraturyan, Andrew Brody, Jose Hernandez, Coco Navarro, Aiden Tucker, Luis Barraza.
With a strong wind blowing from South to North, RSL started the first half attacking into the wind. Within minutes RSL pressured Lewisham’s defense. Jose Hernandez and Coco Navarro were connecting well and forcing Lewisham into bad balls in the back. The break finally came for RSL in the 18th minute when Navarro intercepted a Lewisham pass in the back, passed it to a running Aidan Tuker who took a touch and beat the Lewisham GK. After this the onslaught was on.
Hernandez scored from a free kick in the 32nd minute and Tigran Tiraturyan scored in the 44th minute.
Tucker grabbed his second goal of the game in the 58th minute and Navarro’s hard work paid off for him in the 69th minute when he scored.
However things took a turn for the worse in the 73rd minute. Lewisham scored on the wing cutting the lead to, 5-1. RSL kept pushing forward for another goal to increase the goal differential and was able to get another goal in the 87th minute when sub Ishan Atit scored. This goal proved to be crucial because in the 89th minute Lewisham scored again.
RSL tried to grab another goal before the final whistle was blown but was unable to increase their goal differential. Ending group play with 2 wins and 1 draw and a +6 goal differential. RSL’s chances were good but not great. The next step for RSL was to sit around and wait for the result of the Dallas Texans vs Brooklyn Italians game that was scheduled to kickoff at 6pm.
At around 8:15 local time the results came in. Texans defeated Italians, 1-0, which meant RSL won their group and advanced to the next round.
On Friday morning RSL will be taking on IMG Academy who went 2-0-1 in group play.
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