FRISCO, Texas — Ronnie O'Brien's unassisted goal in the 20th minute led FC Dallas to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in the semifinals Wednesday night of the U.S. Open Cup.
The win advances FC Dallas to the final for the first time since winning the tournament in 1997. It also is the first time that the team has won at Pizza Hut Park since the stadium opened on Aug. 6.
O'Brien rebounded his own missed shot and tapped a slow rolling shot into an open Fire net from inside the goalie's box.
FC Dallas midfielder Ramon Nunez crossed a pass to O'Brien, who fired a shot that hit the right post. Chicago goalie Zach Thornton made a diving attempt to stop O'Brien's first shot, leaving the goal unattended on his second.
Chicago's Lubos Reiter almost tied the match in the 78th minute when he angled a header from 10 yards away that hit the right post.
FC Dallas was forced to play a man down for the majority of the second half after midfielder Simo Valakari received his second yellow card of the game for a tackle from behind in the 55th minute. Valakari will be ineligible to play in The U.S. Open Cup Final is scheduled for Sept. 28.
FC Dallas goalie Scott Garlick made a spectacular save in the 42nd minute to rob John Thorrington of a score near the end of the first half. Thorrington had an open run toward the FC Dallas net before firing a shot from the top of the penalty line that Garlick deflected with his left hand. Garlick finished the game with four saves.
FC Dallas had a goal nullified in the 47th minute when Mark Wilson's score was called back due to an offside call on forward Carlos Ruiz.