FRISCO, Texas – Home cooking never tasted so good for FC Dallas.
After a three-game stretch away from Toyota Stadium where they failed to score a single goal, FC Dallas were able to score two goals in a three-minute span in the second half to erase a 1-0 halftime deficit and collect three points with a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Wednesday.
"That was a big statement win for us," defender Walker Zimmerman said after the game. "Not only because we dropped the past three games, but to come from behind like we did, it shows the resiliency of this team and the character of this team to keep fighting and battling – especially after giving up such an early goal."
Neither goal was necessarily flashy by FC Dallas standards, but both came with a combination of grit and sticking with the play, after yet another slow start to the game – something that has plagued Dallas over the last month.
The equalizer by Ryan Hollingshead was the more fortunate of the two, coming off several bounces after collecting his own rebound in the box.
"Our offense has been getting great chances and getting in the box and having chances to score – we just couldn’t find the net," Hollingshead said of the recent scoreless drought, which ended at 347 minutes after his goal. "Things bounced a little bit on our side on those goals, on my goal at least. ... Sometimes you just need that to relax and get the monkey off the back so you can start playing."
The second goal, which came just a couple minutes later, knocked another monkey off Dallas’ back. The hosts have struggled connecting from corner kicks all season long, but a gritty play by halftime sub Tesho Akindele, according to Zimmerman, helped the defender get in position to put his team on top.
"We kind of made a little eye contact so he could set a pick for me, so I got free of my defender and Mauro [Diaz] hit a great ball," Zimmerman said. "It was pretty much a free run, and I got a little bit undercut at the end. But I was able to get enough of a head start to get a head on it."
The decisive three-minute stretch that ultimately put Dallas on top for good was somewhat of a flash in the pan when putting the entire game in scope. Both teams were aggressive throughout on the offensive and defensive ends and created chances to seize control of the match.
For FC Dallas, they’re just happy they were on the right side of luck tonight to help erase the memory of a three-game road trip they all wish to forget.
"It’s got to be frustrating for them," Zimmerman said. "I know from our own experience looking back, when you let in two goals back-to-back like that, you’re going to be a little shell-shocked and have to be able to bounce back."
"It’s good that we caught them in that moment, because ultimately this sport and game is something where if you lose concentration for a second, you can take some punishment for it. We were able to do that tonight and walk away with three points."