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Blas Perez and Andrew Jacobson put FC Dallas up 2-0 before Toronto FC storms back
TORONTO, Canada (Saturday, April 6) – FC Dallas (4-1-1, 13 points) capped its two-game road swing with an exciting 2-2 draw against Toronto FC today at BMO Field. Unbeaten in its last four matches, FC Dallas now returns to FC Dallas Stadium to face the L.A. Galaxy (2-0-2, 8 points) in a match presented by CiCi’s Pizza on Saturday, April 13.
FC Dallas put the Toronto FC back line under pressure in the 11th minute when Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez combined on the right flank to free up Zach Loyd. The right back came forward to send in a measured cross to Jackson at the back post. The line-drive pass beat the Toronto FC defender at the far corner of the six-yard box but left Jackson with a tough angle. The Brazilian attempted to beat Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the near post but his header flew just wide of the left post.
FC Dallas controlled possession for long stretches of the first half, eventually ending the first 45 minutes with a 57-43 edge. Near the 31st minute David Ferreira orchestrated an attack, which led to an open look for Andrew Jacobson, 30 yards from goal. The powerful center midfielder attempted to pick out the far side netting of the goal but instead had his rocket-shot crack off the crossbar before bouncing over the end line.
Moments later, Jacobson got a second crack at goal from five yards out and buried the chance to give Dallas a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. The buildup once again came from Ferreira. The former MLS MVP won a free kick for Dallas on the right flank, 45 yards from goal. Michel opted to take the set piece and served a dangerous ball to the top of the six-yard box, where Cooper headed a pass that landed at the feet of Jacobson. From the top left corner of the six-yard box, Jacobson crushed another hard shot to the far upper post, giving Bendik no chance to get a hand to the shot.
For the sixth consecutive match, FC Dallas ended the first half with a shutout thanks to a suffocating defense that allowed zero shots on goal through the first 45 minutes.
Dallas took a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute on a goal scored by Perez. Following another set piece opportunity for Dallas, Toronto FC looked to have cleared the ball away from danger before turning the ball over near midfield. Jackson instantly looked to counter and played a perfectly-weighted pass over the top of Toronto’s backline to Perez, who had lost his marker in the shuffle. Perez gave Bendik little opportunity to make a save, blasting home a first-touch volley from seven yards out to give Dallas a two-goal advantage.
Toronto’s comeback began with a goal by Justin Braun in the 85th minute. Toronto FC’s Hogan Ephraim started the attack by playing a dangerous ball into the area from the left flank. FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez came off his line to catch the pass but instead got mixed up with defender Matt Hedges, who headed the ball high into the air. The ball fell to second-half substitute Justin Braun, who was able to head the ball into the back of the net before Fernandez could recover. The goal snapped a 272 minute shutout streak for FC Dallas.
Fernandez came up with a huge save on a point-blank shot by Toronto’s Darren O’Dea in the 88th minute but FC Dallas eventually succumbed to Toronto’s heavy pressure in stoppage time.
The final goal of the evening was scored in the 90th minute by Darel Russell, who brought down a lofted cross from Luis Silva at the top of the area. Russell managed to find space and fired a volley that caught the inside of the back post, leveling the final score, 2-2.
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (Kenny Cooper, Michel) 34
DAL – Blas Perez (Jackson) 59
TOR – Justin Braun 85
TOR – Darel Russell (Luis Silva) 90
FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Jair Benitez (Bobby Warshaw 86), George John (London Woodberry 45), Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, David Ferreira, Andrew Jacobson, Michel, Jackson, Kenny Cooper (Fabian Castillo 72), Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Kellyn Acosta, Bradlee Baladez, Je-Vaughn Watson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Jackson 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Blas Perez, London Woodberry, Andrew Jacobson 1); FOULS: 15 (Jackson 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2 (Michel 1, David Ferreira 1); SAVES: 4 (Raul Fernandez 4).
Toronto FC – Joseph Bendik, Darel Russell, Darren O’Dea, Gale Agbossoumonde, Richard Eckersley (Ashtone Morgan 90+), John Bostock (Justin Braun 73), Jeremy Hall, Jonathan Osorio (Luis Silva 45), Reggie Lambe, Hogan Ephraim, Robert Earnshaw.
Substitutes Not Used: Stephan Frei, Doneil Henry, Kyle Bekker, Andrew Wiedeman.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Robert Earnshaw 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (six players with 1); FOULS: 12 (Richard Eckersley 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Robert Earnshaw 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (John Bostock 2); SAVES: 1 (Joseph Bendik 1).
TOR – Darel Russell (caution) 14
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution) 21
TOR – Hogan Ephraim (caution) 45+
TOR – Luis Silva (caution) 58
DAL – Fabian Castillo (caution) 84
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (caution) 86
TOR – Justin Braun (caution) 90+
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Referee’s Assistants: Kevin Klinger, Kermit Quisenberry
4th Official: Mathieu Bourdeau
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy, 42 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
What did you think of the game?
We were pleased with the way we played except for the last 10 minutes. Toronto really picked up the pace. They started shoving a lot of people forward. We fell into the trap of just trying to clear the ball. [Fabian] Castillo had a great chance one-on-one with the ‘keeper and missed it. The pressure was just so great. Give Toronto a lot of credit for never dying. They showed great mentality at the end.
What was the difference between this year’s Toronto and last year’s Toronto?
They are a much better team, a more balanced team, and they had some injuries but they are only going to get better. They seem to be working for each other and they are playing with a tactical sense of mentality. I don’t think last year’s team would have come back from being down 2-0.
Was the weather a factor?
We come to this climate only to leave. We are excited about going [home]. It is difficult for the players. The breathing is difficult but the most difficult thing for us was the field. The field was very bumpy, the grass is very thick and I can see how Toronto can cause teams problems.
FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson
What is your opinion on why or how the game changed?
We went up two goals and they are the home team so they have nothing to lose. You got to give credit to them, they showed great team spirit and they threw a lot of guys forward. We can do a lot better but they did a very good job [coming from behind].
What is the reason for giving up so many late goals in games?
That is something we need to address. We put in a fantastic 85 minutes and we need to learn how to deal with [pressure] because there will be more games where we will be up and those will be the kind of games we need to see out.
FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd
What are your thoughts on the game?
I thought we came out and played well. We got a two goal lead but we kind of took our foot off the pedal and started sitting in and tried to kill the game instead of continuing to play. We took a lot of pressure in the last 30 minutes and I tip my hat to Toronto, they were down two goals and they showed a lot of resilience to come back and get two goals. Going forward with leads we need to not take our foot off the pedal and keep possession. All the pressure we tried to absorb in the final 30 minutes was just too much to handle.
Still, a solid road swing for FC Dallas with four points in two matches?
Yea, we come out with four points so from that perspective it was a great road trip. It was frustrating not to get the six points after being up two goals here today but we are very happy to come away with four points. Now, we get two home games where we hope to win both of them and stay at the top of the table.
Ryan Nelsen- Head Coach, Toronto FC
Clearly a character point for your team?
Yes, delighted to see a second half effort like that, where we dominated the game dominated possession and dominated the chances beside their goal which we were caught on the break. Frustrated by the fact, that it took adversity to get the character and personality out. We are going to learn to show that from the start but it is funny because I am sitting here now the complete opposite from last week and I think the questions were answered tonight about the character and determination of the team against a very good Dallas team.
Five points in the first five games of the season, how are the results matching up to your expectations for the first five games of the season?
If you asked me two months ago or six weeks ago I’d be very happy right now with the schedule and who we are playing. But I feel for the guys who are disappointed because with L.A. and here was an opportunity and they don’t come very often and we are pretty close to being a good team. Just need a bit of belief and we showed we can compete with any team.
Darren O’Dea- Defender, Toronto FC
How did it feel at the end of that game?
It is mixed feelings really, initially we didn’t think we were going to get much out of the game but it was another good step forward from last year where we might have ended up losing the game 3-0. So there were positives, but I’ve said it before the shackles come off when you’re down 2-0, it’s when the game is 0-0 waiting for someone to win it we need to be brave. But this is a point gained.
Takes a lot of things to build character on the team, an effort like this after last week’s result must be positive?
Yes, it gives us belief now that if we do go a goal down we can get back in to the game, strength to get back in to the game and gained some knowledge and belief in ourselves. We need to be stronger and step up earlier, we are waiting to get beat and need to start stronger.
Darel Russell- Defender, Toronto FC
It was a funny game, and you bounced back, that has got to feel great?
Yeah, definitely. Mistakes last week and we end up drawing and it felt like a loss. Then this week I redeemed myself and it almost feels like a win after being 2-0 down. The way we played, we should have started the game the way we finished and we would have had a different result today.
When you hit that ball did you think it was going to be as impressive as it turned out?
I haven’t seen the replay yet so you guys are telling me how good it looks so, I’ll have to wait until I see it. There is one thought in my mind when I saw it coming over, was to control it and have an effort at goal.
Some people wrote you off last week, do you feel like a bit of redemption and silenced some critics?
You’re always going to have critics and that never worries me because they are the guys that I have to repress the most they are the ones that are going to test me and put that pressure on you to keep improving. They are entitled to their opinions and I am going to keep proving them wrong.
Source: FC Dallas.