FRISCO, Texas – Ugo Ihemelu headed in a scintillating goal deep into stoppage time to give FC Dallas a last-gasp 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Thursday night at FC Dallas Stadium.
Zach Loyd placed a perfect ball from a free kick onto the left side of the box in the 95th minute and the FC Dallas captain took advantage, rising to put the ball past Revs 'keeper Matt Reis for the winner.
Despite injuries and suspensions, FC Dallas were sparked by a return home and ended a two-game losing streak, halting New England’s two-game winning streak in the process.
The hosts dominated the game from start to finish but just couldn’t bury the ball in the back of the net as Reis made key save after save.
Dallas were energized by the return of forward Fabián Castillo after a three-game layoff. The Colombian speedster gave the Revolution fits all night long.
In the 20th minute, Castillo gave his team a golden opportunity to score as he streaked down right side of the field and found Carlos Rodríguez in center of the box. The Panamanian midfielder dished out a nifty pass to countryman Blas Pérez, but the FCD target man just missed the top right corner of the goal.
Three minutes later, Castillo showed more flashy moves in the box and found a rejuvenated Ricardo Villar, who missed wide left.
FC Dallas thought they had their breakthrough in the 77th minute when rookie Matt Hedges – a second-half substitute for George John, who took a ball to the face – headed in a Castillo corner. But the 21-year-old was whistled for a foul on the play, negating the goal.
New England couldn’t mount much offense against Dallas’ offensive surge and were only able to muster a few decent scoring chances. The best came in the eighth minute when midfielder Kelyn Rowe took a shot from outside the box that was palmed away by Kevin Hartman.
Reis was summoned into action as the clock ticked down, tipping Brek Shea’s deflection over the crossbar in the 87th minute, then coming off his line to head off Shea’s cross to Castillo in the 91st minute. He could do nothing to stop Ihemelu’s header, however.
With the win – and their first clean sheet of the season – FC Dallas improve to 2-2-1. They next host Montreal on April 14.
New England, meanwhile, drop to 2-3-0. They next host D.C. United, also on April 14.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Ugo Ihemelu||The big defender played his part in helping FCD post the shutout, and got the telling goal when it mattered|
|2||Matt Reis||New England's veteran 'keeper made a bagful of big saves, stoning Shea early and late, and could do nothing on the goal|
|3||Andrew Jacobson||Coming into his own as a d-mid, Jacobson was a dominant force defensively and spread the ball well in the attack|