Houston – FC Dallas traveled to Houston to take on their inter-state rival Houston Dynamo last weekend looking to make a statement on Texas soccer supremacy. Instead of the Dallas squad coming out strong, the Dynamo scored in the 3rd minute of the game. Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin received the ball about 8 yards out, and took a quick shot that was blocked by Kevin Hartman. The rebound went off of Bruin’s shin and into the net for the first score of the match.
The goal actually seemed to settle FC Dallas down, and they were able to maintain possession against Houston’s high pressure defense. FC Dallas continued to control possession for most of the first half, but they were unable to create any goal scoring opportunities.
As the teams walked toward their locker rooms, the looks of frustration were obvious on the Dallas players’ faces. Put the Texas Derby, El Capitan, and the interleague rivalry aside; the game was a MUST WIN for FCD pride. Only having six of their regular starters just wasn’t enough. The stadium went calm as halftime rolled to an end and then it began… the beating of the drums, the chants, the heckling, and the cheering.
The sound of a sold out stadium was overwhelming, but in the top of the Northeast Corner, FC Dallas Supporters chanted their hearts out:
The beginning of the second half was similar to the first: both teams created a few chances, but neither was able to capitalize on them.
All of a sudden, on a quick counter attack, the ball was fed in to Scott Sealy. Sealy busted out a few step-overs and created space for a shot directly at the Dynamo keeper, Tally Hall. Hall came up with a huge save, but parried the ball straight to FC Dallas midfielder Jackson. A quick trap and Jackson blasted a shot from 6 yards out for the tying goal in the 59th minute. It seemed as if this game was destined for a tie.
FC Dallas had silenced the Dynamo Mob.
Finally, with the score evened up at 1-1, FC Dallas had some momentum rolling until the 63rd minute when Jair Benitez was given a red card. FCD has had problems with injuries, fitness, and red cards this season. With a 2 week break for international games, fans had hoped these things would be fixed. Unfortunately, a foul that not many saw as no replay was played put FCD down to 10 men with 26 minutes left.
Dallas’ weary legs only got more tired in the stifling conditions, and it only took Houston 13 minutes to score after the equalizer. A corner kick was served into the 6 yard box, then deflected by an FCD defender and straight to Houston midfielder, Adam Moffat. Moffat brought the ball down, set his shot up, and blasted it past Kevin Hartman.
With the Dynamo up 2-1 with 14 minutes left and FCD down to 10 players, the game seemed out of reach. Houston played keep away for the last few minutes of the game; players like Matt Hedges, Daniel Hernandez, and Andrew Jacobson played hard until the final whistle. When referee Jair Marrufo blew his whistle to end the game, the Houston Mob went crazy!
FC Dallas players were very classy and applauded all of their fans that made the trip from Dallas.. Daniel Hernandez even gave his game worn cleats to an FC Dallas fan. Hernandez explained what went wrong and what went right in the match:
“Shouldn’t have let in an early goal, should have finished opportunities and we got another red card. We did fight till the end of the game, even a man down and dominated most of the game until the red card.”
FC Dallas takes on Chivas USA on June 23rd @ 8pm in FC Dallas Stadium. FC Dallas fans will always be “Dallas ‘Til I Die”, but they need to find a way to start winning.