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 Saturday.
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.
DAL – David Ferreira (Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo) 51
COL – Vicente Sanchez 59
COL – own goal (Matt Hedges) 65
FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Kellyn Acosta, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez, Je-Vaughn Watson (Mauro Diaz 65), Erick (Kenny Cooper 82), Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira, Jackson (Blas Perez 46), Fabian Castillo.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Peter Luccin, Michel, Walker Zimmerman.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (David Ferreira 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (David Ferreira, Kenny Cooper 1); FOULS: 6 (Erick, Andrew Jacobson 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Fabian Castillo 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (David Ferreira, Mauro Diaz 3); SAVES: 2 (Raul Fernandez 2).
Colorado Rapids – Clint Irwin, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Shane O’Neill, Christopher Klute, Vicente Sanchez, Hendry Thomas (Gabriel Torres 56), Dillon Powers, Nathan Sturgis (German Mera 81), Atiba Harris, Edson Buddle (Deshorn Brown 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Pickens, Jaime Castrillon, Martin Rivero, Anthony Wallace.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Edson Buddle 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Edson Buddle 2); FOULS: 11 (Atiba Harris 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Edson Buddle, Atiba Harris 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Dillion Powers 2); SAVES: 1 (Clint Irwin 1).
COL – Nathan Sturgis (caution) 76
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