FC Dallas squeezes past Minnesota United in penalty kicks

Alan Velasco scored the deciding goal in a penalty-kick shootout to give FC Dallas a 2-1 win over visiting Minnesota United in a first-round MLS Cup playoffs matchup on Monday in Frisco, Texas.

Minnesota's Emanuel Reynoso and Dallas' Facundo Quignon exchanged goals in the second half, and the deadlock continued through regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time.

FC Dallas scored on all five of their attempts in the shootout, while Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes stopped Wil Trapp's chance for Minnesota's only penalty-kick miss. Trapp was the Loons' second shooter in the tiebreaking showdown.

Third-seeded FC Dallas advances to the Western Conference semifinals, where they will visit second-seeded Austin FC on Sunday.

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FC Dallas held 60 percent of the possession in the game and outshot Minnesota United by a 19-7 margin (9-3 in shots on goal). However, the Loons held tight under pressure, with goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair making eight saves.

Paes was credited with two saves.

Minnesota United broke through in the 53rd minute, when Trapp sent a long pass downfield that found Bongokuhle Hlongwane. Amid three Dallas defenders, Hlongwane did a tremendous job of both maintaining possession and finding space to maneuver.

The result was a pass to Reynoso, who buried the opportunity for the go-ahead goal. Reynoso had a team-leading 10 goals for Minnesota United during the regular season.

Quignon equalized in the 64th minute. Off a corner kick, the midfielder was in position to knock a deflected ball into the net for his second goal in two seasons with FC Dallas.

Both Jesus Ferreira and Sebastian Lletget had opportunities to seal the game for FC Dallas in the 110th minute. Ferreira put a poor touch on a great chance in front, and Lletget nearly salvaged the play with a back-heel kick. St. Clair had to dive to make the save, and he barely kept the ball from fully crossing the line.

It was Dallas' first postseason victory since the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs, when FC Dallas also had to go to penalty kicks for a first-round win over the Portland Timbers.

Minnesota United still hasn't won a postseason game since 2020, when they fell in the Western Conference finals.