Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
FC Dallas were on their way to ending a seven-game winless run before everything unraveled.
Despite the hosts taking an early first half lead, the visiting San Jose Earthquakes scored two goals on either side of an Adam Moffat red card to defeat FC Dallas, 2-1, on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium. Offseason signing Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi highlighted the win with a top-drawer 40-yard strike that gave the Earthquakes the lead just before halftime.
FC Dallas didn’t need long to get their fans off their feet. A long throw-in in the 16th minute from Matt Hedges wasn’t dealt with by Earthquakes defender Ty Harden, allowing FC Dallas forward Fabian Castillo to control the ball in the area. Castillo sent a ball back into the middle that teammate Blas Perez met with a wicked volley that flew past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch for the first goal of the match.
The Earthquakes responded well to going a goal down however and began to increase their tempo, having Shea Salinas and Yannick Djalo touch the ball multiple times in the attacking third. Off a corner kick in the 27th minute, the Earthquakes tied the match as a Salinas corner kick was controlled in the box by forward Steven Lenhart and laid off to midfielder Atiba Harris, who finished with a side-footed shot that evaded FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
The play was controversial because FC Dallas defenders in the box all motioned to the referee to call a handball on Lenhart when he controlled the ball. Replays showed however that the referee got the call correct, and that the ball came off Lenhart’s chest.
After earning an early yellow card in the 25th minute, Moffat put the hosts down to ten men with a clumsy challenge 30-yards from goal from behind on Djalo, earning his second yellow card and red card dismissal. Just seconds before the halftime whistle, Pierazzi unleashed a vicious blast from 40-yards out that swerved away from Seitz and into the corner to give the Earthquakes a lead.
Although FC Dallas was down a man in the second half, they actually controlled the tempo and rhythm of the game and were very dominant, pressing high up the field and forcing the Earthquakes into a lot of errors. However, Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson had his players defensively stout and the Earthquakes didn’t leak any second half goals.
Busch played a big part in holding on to the lead in the second half, making a save just before half time on a penalty kick taken by Fabian Castillo. Busch also came off his line early on a number of crosses into the box to punch away and commanded his area very well.
Here are the game highlights: