FRISCO, Texas - One week after being mostly ineffective against Sporting Kansas City, Mauro Diaz was once again the dominant offensive force for FC Dallas as he played a central role in two of the goals in Dallas’ 3-1 win over Chivas USA in front of 15,564 fans at Toyota Stadium Saturday evening.
Dallas broke open the previously scoreless match in the 71st minute on a great team goal. First, substitute and young Designated Player David Texeira earned a free kick 30 yards from Chivas USA’s goal. Fellow young DP Diaz lined up to take the free kick and sent in a looping ball that found defensive midfielder Hendry Thomas in the box. The Honduran nodded the ball down and towards his right, where an onrushing Fabian Castillo one-timed the ball perfectly into the back of the net. Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy showed incredible reflexes to even get a hand on the low ball, but it was not enough to stop Dallas from scoring on a set piece for the third week in a row.
Diaz also set up the eventual game winner in the 79th minute. Diaz looked up from just inside the halfway line and found Je-Vaughn Watson on the far right side. The perfectly weighted ball opened up Watson at the edge of the box and gave him enough time to dribble around an exposed Kennedy before he slotted home from a harsh angle.
Chivas briefly made things interesting by pulling one back two minutes later. Erick Torres continued his torrid early-season scoring pace by finishing a cross from substitute Kris Tyrpak. But only five minutes after that, Dallas responded with a substitute of their own when free kick specialist Michel sent a dead ball in through the crowd in front of goal that took a deflection just past an outstretched Kennedy.
Dallas dominated the entire first half as they enjoyed more than 65 percent of the ball, created shots and consistently had the Chivas USA defense on their heels. The Goats had no answer for Castillo’s speed or Diaz’s crafty passing, but Dallas was unable to find the crack in Kennedy’s goal as they had each of their point-blank chances stoned in the opening 45.
Perhaps the best chance of the half came in the 30th minute, when Diaz sent an in-swinging corner kick from Dallas’ attacking left. Striker Blas Perez separated from his mark in the center of the box and rose to meet the ball about 8 yards out. The Panamanian made perfect contact and firmly redirected the ball downwards directly towards the goal line. Kennedy reacted and dropped to the ground to make the initial save with his chest and then midfielder Oswaldo Minda quickly cleared the rebound before a Dallas player could pounce.
The game turned increasingly physical as it wore on, and multiple injuries took players out of the match. Adam Moffat and Minda exited in the first half due to what looked like non-contact injuries. Andrew Jacobson, who entered for Moffat early in the game, was stretchered off in the 64th minute following a clumsy challenge by Thomas McNamara.
The teams combined for seven yellow cards, with Thomas capping off the match with a straight red card issued by referee Fotis Bazakos in second half stoppage time, for a late challenge on Adolfo Bautista.
Next week FC Dallas will be at home again against the Portland Timbers while Chivas USA will make a cross-country excursion to face the New York Red Bulls.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Mauro Diaz||After a fairly frantic first half, settled down and controlled the game, setting up two of Dallas' goals in fine fashion|
|2||Fabian Castillo||Justly notched a goal on the night, and his forays through the middle of Chivas' defense were stellar in the first half|
|3||Erick Torres||Scoring in three straight games is nothing to sneeze at, and Cubo gave Chivas hope briefly with his tally|