FC Dallas grabbed a historic win Wednesday night in Mexico as they defeated Pumas 1-0 on a second half goal from Marvin Chavez. It marks the first time an MLS team has won on Mexican soil in 25 tries and gives FC Dallas an important three points to open the groups stages of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Pumas were expected to press the issue an they certainly did in theo pening half of play. Kevin Hartman and the Dallas defense were forced into action on several occasions, but always ended up standing tall. The match went to halftime scoreless to the jeers of the Mexican fans. Defender Jair Benítez started the goal scoring play in the 65th minute, launching a low shot from distance that bounced off the right post and rebounded back to Chávez’s feet in the center of the penalty box. Chavez tapped into the empty net for the decisive goal.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman fielded his strongest team, including new acquisition Daniel Cruz in the starting XI for the first time since arriving from Belgium. Pumas UNAM coach Guillermo Vásquez went the opposite way, starting a youthful contingent and resting many of his players two days removed from a league game against Santos Laguna. The results showed and Pumas are sure to take heat for the lineup decision.
With the shutout, FC Dallas became the first team to begin their CCL campaign with three consecutive shutouts after defeating Alianza FC of El Salvador 2-0 in the qualifying round. Both Dallas and Pumas return to group play next week. FC Dallas travel to take on fellow MLS side Toronto FC on Wednesday, while Pumas play at Tauro FC in Panama the following day.