Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez score to help Dallas pick up a point in front of 20,814 fans at Providence Park
PORTLAND, Oregon. (Saturday, June 11) – FC Dallas (6-7-4, 22 points) jumped out to a 2-0 first-half lead on goals scored by Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez, only to have Portland net two late goals, one via penalty kick, to draw even with Timbers FC (4-4-8, 20 points) tonight at Providence Park.
FC Dallas was robbed of an early lead in just the third minute. Castillo continued his recent hot-streak by bringing down a cross in the area, cutting through a group of defenders on the left side of the box and getting off a low strike towards the back post. Timbers FC goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts got down to make a diving save but left the rebound for FC Dallas midfielder Adam Moffat. The Scottish-born midfielder was unlucky to have his attempt clank off the post but Dallas got a third crack at it when the ball fell to Tesho Akindele at the top of the six-yard box. The rookie tried to pick out the near side netting but a slide tackle by a Portland defender sent the ball over the end line for a corner kick.
Dallas had another scoring opportunity parried away by Rickets in the 18th minute when Andres Escobar lined a corner kick into the box. Right back Je-Vaughn Watson was there to win the ball cleanly, striking a first-time shot on goal but Ricketts was in perfect position to make the save.
Castillo broke through for the visitors in the 27th minute when Perez got the ball in space on the right flank. The Panamanian striker setup his third goal of the season by putting a perfect cross on to the chest of Castillo, who was making his run towards the top right corner of the six-yard box. After bringing down the ball, Castillo beat Ricketts with a sharp pass into the lower left corner of the net to give FC Dallas the 1-0 lead.
With a remarkable work rate, Akindele handed FC Dallas a two-goal lead just before the break. The play began with a smothering slide-tackle from Watson in Dallas’ defensive third of the pitch. The loose ball found Akindele, 70-yards from Portland’s net, but the Colorado School of Mines product darted up field, went around Timbers FC left back Jorge Villafana as he entered Portland’s defensive third of the field and carried the ball near the end line before knocking a deadly ball back towards the top of the box.
Castillo looked like he would intercept the pass that was intended for Perez, but the Colombian let the ball roll on towards Perez, who crushed a first-time shot into the far upper-90.
Just as FC Dallas came up empty following an early goalmouth scramble, Portland suffered the same fate at the beginning of the second half. Fanendo Adi came free inside the box, off to the left side of Fernandez’s goal, and cracked a shot that went by the Peruvian goalkeeper but was saved off the line by Moises Hernandez at the back post. The loose ball found Portland midfielder Diego Valeri inside the area and his right-footed blast went past everyone but Zach Loyd, who was stationed on the goal line and blocked the shot off the line to deny Timbers FC.
The halftime stat sheet did not show any saves for Dallas’ Fernandez but the Peruvian was kept busy cutting out the final pass on multiple occasions. His first official save came in the 68th minute on substitute Gaston Fernandez, who was the recipient of solid build-up play from Portland, and received a perfect setup pass from Adi at the top right corner of the six-yard box. Fernandez collected the pass, stared down the other Fernandez, and attempted to pick out the far corner but was denied by the FC Dallas goalkeeper with a snap, right-footed kick save.
Referee Alan Kelly awarded Portland a penalty kick in the 79th minute when Adi received the ball on the left side of the area and attempted to go-around Watson. As the Nigerian turned the corner, an attempted tackle from Watson brought Adi crashing to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot. Will Johnson converted the kick by sending Fernandez the wrong direction and slipping a low pass inside the right post.
Hernandez was shown a straight red card in the 88th minute and shortly after, Perez suffered the same fate in stoppage time. Playing down two men, Dallas was unable to keep Portland from notching a game-tying goal just before the final whistle when defender Pa Modou Kah found the ball at his feet inside the six-yard box after teammate Maximillano Urruti sent a short cross into the congested area from the center of the field. FC Dallas players appealed to Kelly that Kah had brought the pass down with his arm, just before he tucked a shot inside the far side-netting, but no whistle came and FC Dallas was forced to settle for a single point rather than all three.
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
On the difference in control between the halves:
“It was a normal reaction in the second half. Portland threw many bodies up front. We were organized, but we knew that we would have some chances going forward. That is a normal reaction from a team that is losing. We played a great half, the first one. In the second one, we tried to control the game. That was what the game came up with. A team in the second half trying to push, trying to send some numbers up. We were leading the game and the plan was working.”
On how FC Dallas responded to conceding a goal and the red cards:
“We kept fighting against many factors. It was good that everybody saw it tonight. I don’t need to make any comment on that, but people saw it. It was very clear.”
On gaining a point on the road:
“We are disappointed. We [had] the three points and coming out with a point doesn’t make us happy. At the same time we have to have pride in the players, they gave it all today and had great opportunities going forward. People enjoy how our team played tonight and that’s important. We [will focus] on that. We take the point because we have to, but everybody saw that it was not fair.”