In a physical affair at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night, goal-scorer Jackson Gonçalves helped FC Dallas escape Chivas USA’s grasp on a late defensive miscue to return back to Dallas with three points from a 2-1 win.
After FCD conceded an equalizer in the 71st minute on a shot from Chivas USA defender Michael Lahoud that deflected off center back George John, Jackson capitalized on a Chivas USA error to keep FC Dallas unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 games.
Jackson’s first career goal couldn’t have come at a better time for FCD.
“I am very happy to score such an important goal and my first goal in my career,” Jackson told MLSsoccer.com over the phone after Saturday’s game. “Three points are very important points.”
In the 85th minute, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and his back line miscommunicated on a ball in the 18-yard-box, leaving Jackson alone with an opportunity on goal. The Brazilian swooped in and tapped a shot against the far post and over the goal line, sending him into utter joy as he fell to the ground in happiness.
“He is extremely pleased,” said head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He hasn’t been starting the last few games, so he’s working his way back into the starting lineup and obviously extremely happy to get the game-winner.”
The 23-year-old’s entrance into the game was a result of a late-game substitution by Hyndman. The versatile Jackson came onto the pitch for forward Fabián Castillo immediately after Lahoud’s equalizer. But, instead of being sent to his usual right back spot, Hyndman assigned him to the left side of midfield.
“The flank opened and when he went on the field he was supposed to go on the right side, but he and Brek [Shea] changed either way,” said Hyndman.
The midfield position is not an unfamiliar one to Jackson. In 2010 he featured several times as a defensive center midfielder and as a right midfielder.
“I am very happy in the midfield,” said Jackson. “Last year I played the position and I liked it a lot. I feel as comfortable playing midfield as I do playing forward.”
With the trip to Carson as FC Dallas’ only away tilt in June, and with the team on the rebound from last Sunday’s unexpected 4-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City, Hyndman saw a better product from his players.
“This was a game for us to kind of get back on track,” he said. “As I mentioned to the guys, the most important game is the game after that performance [vs. Sporting], and tonight we fought for every ball. We competed and we had scoring opportunities.”
Added Jackson: “I think that for the team, these are important moments for us. From now on, every point is going to be important whether it’s at home or away.”