COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday, Sept. 14) – David Ferreira scored a go-ahead goal in the 51st minute, but FC Dallas (10-8-11, 41 points) surrendered two goals to the Colorado Rapids (12-8-9, 45) in a seven minute span to lose, 2-1, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park tonight.
FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids failed to produce any dangerous scoring opportunities through the first 23 minutes of the match on the rain-soaked pitch. Carrying heavy playoff implications for both sides, the match opened up a bit in the 24th minute, when Ferreira won a ball at midfield and knocked a pass forward to Fabian Castillo. The 21-year-old ran at a defender before crossing a ball on the ground to the back post. Jackson was there to meet the pass, well inside the area, but was unable to keep his shot on frame.
Just as in the last meeting between the two sides, Colorado fired back immediately. Vicente Sanchez controlled the ball on the left flank before sending a precise cross into the area for Atiba Harris. The former FC Dallas man rose above his marker and snapped a textbook header down into the ground. Fortunately for Dallas, Harris’ header bounced just over the crossbar to keep the match scoreless.
Colorado had another chance set up by Sanchez in the 38th minute. The Uruguayan danced by a defender near the left corner of the area and chipped a ball to the back post. Once again, Harris was there to win the aerial battle, heading a pass backward to teammate Nathan Sturgis. The midfielder came forward and hit a powerful shot towards the back post, but FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was there to punch the shot away from danger.
Coming out of half, Colorado nearly scored in the 46th minute when Edson Buddle broke free of his defender and attempted to pick out the right side netting behind Fernandez. FC Dallas dodged a bullet as the Peruvian goalkeeper made an outstanding diving save to push the chance wide of the right post.
Dallas used the momentum from Fernandez’s save and took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute on Ferreira’s goal. Substitute Blas Perez clicked instantly after coming on for Jackson at halftime, combining with Ferreira in the middle of the field to setup the score. Following a one-two pass, Ferreira pushed the ball wide to Castillo, on the left side. Castillo waited for left back Jair Benitez to make an overlapping run before knocking the ball into space. Benitez caught up to the ball near the end line and centered a pass into the six-yard box, where Ferreira was able to slip a shot underneath Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
Colorado answered in the 59th minute on a goal scored by Sanchez. Defender Christopher Klute set up the goal by chipping a cross into the box. FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson won the header but did not get enough power behind it. The loose ball fell to the feet of Sanchez, who was able to finish off the chance with a half-volley from seven yards out.
The Rapids took a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute. Sanchez was also involved in the second goal. After a one-two pass, Sanchez cut back and delivered a cross on the ground towards Gabriel Torres, who was making a run to the back post. FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges had Torres well marked on the play, but was unlucky. As he extended his right foot to cut out the pass, the ball ricocheted off his cleat and ended up in the back of the net.
FC Dallas controlled possession for the remainder of the match, creating several chances to equalize, but the visitors were unable to finish. Dallas’ best opportunity came in stoppage time when Ferreira earned a free kick 24 yards from goal. Benitez stepped to the ball and hit a left-footed shot towards the left post, but Irwin was there to make a big save and secure the full three points for the Rapids.
Schellas Hyndman, FC Dallas head coach
On the game overall:
I thought that we did enough defensively to keep them from scoring. We had maybe three quality chances in the first half. One was turned into a second chance when Jackson got in the way of the shot, brought it down, and kicked it over. That’s about all we really had in that first half. Second half, we made one adjustment and I thought it really helped us. The thing we talked about was we had to stop the team from getting all those balls and we had to put pressure on [Vicente] Sánchez. The second thing was we had to find a way to keep the ball a little bit better, which we weren’t doing in the first half. I thought we made those adjustments and scored a nice goal and then for ten minutes, everything was going wrong. Every call was going against us. That’s not a bitch at the referee, it just seemed like everything was going against us. Once we gave up the second goal, I thought the guys played hard, very focused trying to get it back.
On the play after the second goal:
If you look at your records from the last two games that we played, the comments that came out of Oscar Pareja was ‘We out played them. We should have won.’ Today, I’ll take his quote. ‘We outplayed them. We should have won.’ People are in the crunch for the playoffs. Points are very important. Colorado has been playing very well. They’ve been getting some good results and we knew we had our hands full today. As I said to the boys. Our goal these last eight games was to win four. If we keep playing like this, we’ll be okay. What we need to do now is just keep our heads up and keep fighting.
On scoring 14 goals in the last six games, and being scoreless in the five before that:
A big part of it is injuries. Every team has them. I think this is probably one of the strongest bench we’ve had all year. I think a big part of it is the depth and the guys are really focusing on what we need to do. Again, I can’t give our guys enough credit for going into a difficult environment, playing a good team, and taking it down to the last kick of the ball.
On if they felt like they had control of the game until there were a couple of bad bounces:
Tonight we came out and played simple soccer. Playing in Colorado, it’s a tough place to play with the altitude. We were determined to get the three points tonight and we started with a beautiful goal from David [Ferreira]. After that we got some bad calls. It’s unfortunate. We got a lot of good chances to score again. We didn’t capitalize on it.
On feeling like they were pressing for that equalizer:
We did well. After they were up 2-1, we were all over them. Unfortunately we didn’t get the goal to tie the game. Sometimes you’re lucky with the soccer ball, sometimes it’s unfortunate.
On how tough of a loss this is:
You have to look at the bright side. We have six games remaining and we’re playing some really good soccer right now. I guess we’re back on track. We’re creating the chance so we can win any game at any time. We just have to keep on digging because at the end of the season, all of the teams are fighting for points. I know we are going to make it to the playoffs.
Oscar Pareja, Colorado Rapids Coach
On [Vicente] Sanchez’s performance:
Well for everyone, actually, I thought it was a game the people enjoyed. The people who came out to support us despite the conditions and the weather and that was an encouragement for this group. We came out to the field and see a crowd there, that was great and then the response from the players to the fans was fantastic. People enjoyed a great game against a very good team and a huge result for us.
On the difference in the second half:
I thought in the first half we played very well. I thought we spread the ball the way we wanted and had the control of the game all the time. We didn’t have too many options, but I can still remember three options: Atiba [Harris] from a cross, Atiba just led the ball that Nathan [Sturgis] almost scored, and I thought Edson [Buddle] almost had another one, so we had good chances in the first half. Second half was more exciting, that’s probably why we can remember the second half more because the energy and what happened, but the first half was well played by us. It was good. I enjoyed the team. And then second half, through the motions and what Vicente brought to the team and all that talent, the people need to come and see this team.
On the result overall:
Ya, it’s huge, it’s fantastic going down the last few games of the season, pushing for the playoff. I think that’s huge for us to have a little bit of separation.
On getting a comeback win:
Ya, I mean, you’ve been on the guys this whole time. You see everybody get along with each other. We have fun out here, so I think we are taking that onto the pitch. We are working hard for each other like brothers and I think that is important for us.
On playing against former team:
Ya, you always have that extra bit of motivation and the extra bit of energy going out there. I mean, I know a lot of the guys and it was important for us to go out there and match their intensity, know their fighting to take our spot, so we had to go out there. I think we did a wonderful job of fighting, fighting to get these three points.
On his goal:
The goal arrived. Thankfully it served for us to win the three points, which is most important. When one scores a goal and the team doesn’t win, (the goal) doesn’t matter.
On his position tonight:
I was playing from the left. I had come in playing on the right, and then the middle and Oscar decided to put me out on the left. I’m happy – happy to play and happy because from the first minute the team tried to win. We couldn’t score the goal in the first half. But still, little by little the team continues getting better. These are playoff games. These are games that everyone wants to win in order to qualify.
On the play of the team overall:
I’m comfortable with the team. The team is doing things right, they are sacrificing a lot – there are many players on the bench that can play and are waiting. I’m happy. We have to work hard during the week because we have another important game on Friday – another playoff game.
On adapting to Colorado:
There is altitude, and it’s difficult playing in altitude. But on the team, there are good people, and they’ve helped my adaptation. So I’m thankful for my teammates and the coaching staff who are doing everything possible so that my adaptation is faster.
On how he’s able to contribute so much, even in altitude:
I’m a little older now, the years drag (laughing). But I’m happy because physically I’m well. Coach Paul (Caffrey) is doing a really good job with all the players on the physical side, and the team looks very good physically. So I’m happy, and happy to be part of this good group of people.