September 15, 2012
CLOSING THE GAP
With win, Dallas one point behind Vancouver
FRISCO, Texas---FC Dallas could have won Saturday night's game many times over. It took a goal from Julian De Guzman in the sixth minute of stoppage time to win it just once, a 1-0 decision over the chippy Vancouver Whitecaps at FC Dallas Stadium.
|David Ferreira had his penalty kick stopped and hit the post with another shot, as FCD still managed a 1-0 win over Vancouver on Saturday night.
Photo by Michael Stephens
A ball that squirted out of the penalty area fell to the feet of De Guzman 24 yards out, and he volleyed a shot through traffic into the net.
The win was a huge one for the Hoops, as they closed the gap on the Whitecaps for the fifth and final playoff spot in the MLS West. Dallas improves to 9-12-9, 36 points, one point behind the Whitecaps, who after losing five straight are 10-12-7, 37pts.
Dallas came close many times, but some bad luck and excellent play from Whitecaps goalkeeper Brad Knighton kept the game scoreless for more than 90 minutes.
Brek Shea had an early chance, just nine minutes in, but his shot from the edge of the area went high.
The Hoops' best chance came in the 16th minute, after referee Allen Chapman called a foul in the penalty area and awarded a penalty kick. David Ferreira took the shot, but Knighton guessed correctly, dove to his right and made the save.
FCD could have gone up twice in the span of a minute at the close of the first half. In the 41st minute, Brek Shea worked his way down to the end and sent a low cross into the area. Ferreira met it perfectly, but his shot hit the left post. Less than a minute later, Shea drove a shot from 20 yards out that was pushed over the bar by Knighton.
The Hoops continued to put pressure on Knighton, who was making only his third start of the season, all through the game. In the 66th minute, Shea got free on a through ball, but Knighton made the save.
Unlike Knighton, Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was relatively untested by Vancouver. His biggest stop came in the 84th minute. A ball into the area by Russell Teibert found John Thorrington. Hartman want to ground and blocked Thorrington's shot with his legs.
Dallas put a lot of pressure on late in the game, desperately looking for the elusive game-winner.
Dallas thought they had that winner in the 89th minute. Ferreira played the ball up to Blas Perez, whose initial shot was tapped off the post by Knighton, Perez put the rebound in, but the assistant referee's flag was already up signaling an offside on the initial ball.