The 5-foot-7 piece of FCD Kyrptonite known as Hyka was the savior for San Jose yet again Saturday night, pinballing a goal home in the 81st minute off the right post to send the Quakes home with three points.
“The road’s tough. Every week the scores can be lopsided. We were part of that last week in Colorado,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “I don’t think our confidence dropped because we have good players who have a lot of belief in themselves. They were very disciplined tonight, and they did everything we asked of them. It was perfect.”
Hyka had a different take after Saturday night's win, saying the 3-0 road loss last week knocked spirits a bit and made this victory all the sweeter.
“After the game against Colorado, we went a little bit down with our confidence,” Hyka said. “But we knew we were a good team, and we knew Dallas was a good team. We knew also that Dallas is a good team, so we just wanted to stay compact, wait for our chances to counter, and I thought we did a very good job.”
It was a relatively slow start for both teams, with neither side recording a shot on target for the first 70-plus minutes of the match.
But the Quakes waited for their chances, and they finally started to come with what was originally thought to be the game’s first goal in the 76th minute.
Instead, Hyka was called offside. But just minutes later, he was able to score the Quakes’ third goal in six road games this season by making a split-second decision to dupe FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges.
“I think we made a very good play in that moment. Marco [Ureña] made a very good pass,” Hyka said, adding that he only had a matter of seconds to decide whether he wanted to pass the ball or flip the ball over Hedges’ head. “I don’t know how to explain it. It was just a good touch and a good finish, and I’m happy for it.”
The win was especially significant for the Quakes considering it came against the league’s lone unbeaten team in FC Dallas. On top of handing them their first loss, San Jose also saddled up next to FCD in the standings at 19 points.
“We asked a lot from them, and they stuck to it,” Kinnear said. “I thought we sat in and sat deep, which is what we wanted to do trying to catch these guys in a break. It’s a great three points for us.”