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Michel's penalty lifts Dallas past Vancouver

Oct 30, 2014 - 3:16 AM Frisco, TX ( - Michel converted a late penalty at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday to hand FC Dallas a 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC and send the club to the Western Conference semifinals.

Tesho Akindele had given Dallas the lead in the 40th minute, but Erik Hurtado answered in the 64th to bring the Whitecaps level.

The hosts did not manage to get back in front until the 84th minute after Kendall Waston was whistled for a hand ball in the box, allowing Michel to hammer home the winning goal.

Dallas advances to the next round of the MLS Cup playoffs where it will face Supporters' Shield-winner Seattle Sounders FC. The two-legged affair will begin Sunday at Toyota Stadium.

It appeared as though the tame opening period of Wednesday's play-in match would leave the two sides to head into the halftime interval scoreless, but Dallas managed to get in front just before the break.

A defensive miscue between Waston and Andy O'Brien allowed FCD's Mauro Diaz to advanced the ball into the final third of the pitch. Diaz made the covering defender commit before slipping a well-timed through ball into the path of Akindele, who showed great aplomb in firing a right-footed shot past David Ousted for the opener.

Vancouver emerged from the intermission and immediately displayed a bit more bite in attack, nearly resulting in a 47th-minute equalizer. Sebastian Fernandez earned a free kick at the edge of the box and Mauro Rosales came within inches of curling the ensuing shot into the upper corner, but the Argentine saw his attempt come back off the crossbar before the hosts cleared their lines.

Dallas, though, did not adequately deal with a set piece in the 64th minute as a couple of failed clearances resulted in a scramble in the box. The ball eventually fell to the feet of Hurtado, who fired a shot that took a slight deflection on its way past Chris Seitz at the near post.

The two sides traded blows until the closing stages when Waston, who helped Vancouver clinch a spot in the knockout round of the playoffs by heading home the lone goal in the club's 1-0 defeat of the Colorado Rapids in its regular season finale, went from hero to villain when he handled the ball in the box inside the final 10 minutes.

Amid a great deal of protest from the visitors, referee Mark Geiger awarded Dallas a penalty and Michel made no mistake with the ensuing attempt, firing home an emphatic finish to clinch the victory for Oscar Pareja's men.