Pitchkolan plays hero role in FCD win

then surviving a man down over the final quarter-hour -- FC Dallas had one man to thank for their dramatic 2-1 win against the Kansas City Wizards on Sunday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park.

"Thank goodness for [Aaron] Pitchkolan," said FC Dallas head coach Colin Clarke.

Kenny Cooper gave the Hoops the lead after just four minutes, but the match truly came alive in second half stoppage time. Alex Zotinca tied it up in the 92nd minute only to have Pitchkolan come up big in the 94th minute of play with the game-winner.

After fighting for 85 minutes to hold the lead, and being a man down for the last 20 minutes of the match, the Hoops were unlucky to have the Wizards tie the match in stoppage time.

"Disappointed," said Clarke about the Kansas City goal. "I thought we defended very well but they had a few shots, a few skirmishes, but to give one up on a set play was disappointing because at that time we probably had as many big players as we had at any point in the game."

Following last week's debacle in Colorado where the Hoops allowed two goals -- a penalty and an own goal -- to lose a two-goal lead, Clarke made a change at center back, putting second-year defender Drew Moor in the middle alongside Greg Vanney.

Moore made nine starts in 2005, but the match against the Wizards marked his debut for 2006.

"I though Drew Moor was excellent," said Clarke. "I thought he was magnificent today, against probably one of the -- apart from our own -- best front threes in the league."

The great defensive effort from Moor and the rest of the back line was almost overshadowed by the ejection of Chris Gbandi in the 68th minute. Davy Arnaud was just about to enter the box and go at goal, forcing Gbandi into a dilemma.

"It's tough because it's a split-second decision," said Moor. "I thought he actually did a good job getting around in front of him and you can't leave it up to the referee's judgment to make the call like that. In the end it ended up being a pretty good decision since we got the three points."

For the Hoops the hero of the day was Pitchkolan, who has seen limited minutes so far this season. But he made the most of his time against the Wizards, looking like a polished veteran striker as he calmly beat Bo Oshoniyi to the near post in the waning minutes of stoppage time.

"I was just hoping to get the ball on target," said Pitchkolan. "You're not going to score if you don't get the ball on target so luckily it went in."

Pitchkolan came in at the 75th minute mainly as a defensive force in midfield but things ended up differently.

"We had a one-nil lead at the time so we wanted to keep it tight in the middle and hopefully pull out a one-nil win," he said. "It didn't work out that way but in the end we still got the three points."

Scott Joiner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.