FRISCO, Texas — Panamanian countrymen Blas Pérez and Gabriel Gómez both scored their fourth goals of the year on sensational headers as FC Dallas and the Philadelphia Union battled to a 1-1 tie on Saturday night at FC Dallas Stadium.
FCD applied the pressure early and often. In the sixth minute, midfielder Andrew Jacobson pulled away from the Union defense and chipped a shot over Philadelphia goalkeeper Chase Harrison, who was just able to tip the ball and change its path.
On the ensuing corner, Bryan Leyva directed the ball to the far post, which was headed into the six-yard box by George John. Seemingly out of nowhere, Pérez dove in and gave Dallas a quick 1-0 advantage.
FC Dallas continued its dominance in the first half, recording six shots on goal, including another near header by Pérez. The makeshift back line, which was missing captain Ugo Ihemelu and suspended defender Zach Loyd, held Philadelphia to no shots on goal.
The closest the Union came to making any kind of noise in the first half came in the 35th minute, when midfielder Michael Lahoud, who was recently acquired to help fill the void left by suspended Freddy Adu, sent in a cross from outside the box that floated over FCD 'keeper Kevin Hartman and cruised in front of the goal.
The FC Dallas back line took another huge hit just before intermission when Hernán Pertúz was stretchered off with a knee injury. Carlos Rodriguez, who had missed the last four games with a dislocated elbow, came on as a substitute.
The second half was a completely different story, however.
The Union wreaked havoc in the box 10 minutes in, and the fierce attack was capped off by Gómez’s equalizing header. Unfortunately for him and his team, the midfielder abandoned the pitch immediately after his goal due to an unspecified injury that he sustained after colliding with Hartman on the play.
Both teams had opportunities to take the lead late, but as the score indicates, they failed to do so.
In 58th minute, Philadelphia defender Carlos Valdés rocked the crossbar with a header off a corner kick. Then, in the 73rd minute, teammate Keon Daniel sent a rocket in from outside the box that forced Hartman to make a tremendous save.
FC Dallas got its own chance in the 82nd minute. Pérez again got on the end of a ball, this time with his foot on a cross from Jair Benítez, but Harrison was there again to make the stop.
With the draw, FCD extended its winless streak to seven and is 3-6-4 overall. The team will travel to Chicago to take on the Fire on Wednesday.
Philadelphia now moves to 2-6-2 on the year and will hit the road again as they face Toronto FC next Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com's Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Blas Pérez||Dallas' big striker created plenty of trouble in the box and finally got back on the score sheet, even though it wasn't enough for the W.|
|2||Gabriel Gómez||Philly midfielder came through for the visitors, taking a big hit — which knocked him out of the game — as he scored the important equalizer.|
|3||Chase Harrison||Union's back-up 'keeper made a number of big saves in his first MLS start to help the visitors leave with a hard-earned point.|
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