Led by "little genius" Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas marvel at game-winner with season-defining impact

FRISCO, Texas – Eric Hassli, Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz combined perfectly in the 87th minute to create one of the more spectacular game-winning goals any FC Dallas or MLS fan could hope to see.

Hassli controlled the rebound of Jair Benitez's long ball just outside of Vancouver's box and placed the ball perfectly for Castillo to make his run towards the endline.

“I just remember that as I was going to the touchline, I saw three red jerseys in the box,” Castillo described through an interpreter after the game. “I just sent the ball to the far post to two targets, hoping for one of them to finish it.

"And then? Golazo."

Diaz's first home goal for FC Dallas was certainly one for the highlight reels and more importantly, it put FCD back into a playoff position in the Western Conference. But to those involved, what made the goal truly beautiful was that it came from the run of play and that it was a team effort. Each of the principles involved credited one of the others for their part in the play.

"That was probably one of the better goals that I have scored, but I was thankful for the way Fabian managed to put a perfect ball for me to finish it in that way," Diaz told reporters through an interpreter.

Added Castillo: "Eric comes in, he's a physical presence in the middle of the field and he attracted the two center backs, opening space for the rest of us. Mauro changed the game. To me, he is a little genius. He can see what other players cannot see," Hassli explained. "Awesome finish. It was a great goal."

The certain Goal of the Week candidate secured Dallas three very vital points against one of their primary rivals in the Whitecaps for a Western Conference postseason berth. Head coach Schellas Hyndman thinks that play, and this game, may well define his team's season.

"This was a game, tonight's game, that is so very important for the team," Hyndman told reporters after the match. "It's not just the three points, it's the confidence that the players have right now, the feel-good attitude and the belief that they have in each other.

"These are the types of game that, if you look at your season and say, 'Where did it turn?' you might say this was the game. We hope that that is the case."