Casey, Rapids draw with FC DallasJul 20, 2008 - 4:17 AM
FRISCO, Texas (Ticker) -- Saturday's contest between the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas was one of those games where both teams felt fortunate to escape with a point.
Each team came back from one-goal deficits, with Conor Casey recording his third tally of the season in the 67th minute to even the score and help Colorado and Dallas play to a 2-2 draw at Pizza Hut Park.
Herculez Gomez opened the scoring in the fifth minute for Colorado (6-8-3), which has not won a road game since April 12.
"At some point the ball got to Christian (Gomez) and he played just a great ball over the defender to me," Casey said. "I was able to redirect it into the goal, but a great play by him."
The Rapids, now 1-3-3 in their last seven contests, remain in fourth in the Western Conference with 21 points, just two back of first place Real Salt Lake (6-6-6), while Dallas (4-6-7) is in sixth with 19.
"They had a good run of play and out of nowhere, we came back," said Colorado captain Pablo Mastroeni, who will be playing in his ninth straight MLS All-Star Game on Thursday in Toronto. "We were pretty resilient to get that second goal.
"I don't think we're excited about this point, but realize that a point on the road can make the difference between making the playoffs at the end. We have a really strong mindset of bearing down and trying to get points on the road. Everyone is relieved that we at least came in and got a point here."
Colorado jumped out to the early 1-0 lead on Gomez's second goal of the season. Mehdi Ballouchy lobbed a long pass from near midfield that Dallas defender Adria Serioux misplayed, allowing Gomez to race in on a breakaway. He drilled a right-foot blast from about 20 yards out past Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala into the lower left corner of the net.
It was Colorado's first goal in the opening half of a road game all season.
FC Dallas came on toward the end of the first half and had three prime scoring opportunities to tie the score in the final seven minutes.
Its best chance came in the 45th minute when midfielder Andre Rocha executed a beautiful move to cut inside from the right flank and boomed a shot from 20 yards out that was deflected by Rapids goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. Dallas forward Dominic Oduro lunged for the loose rebound in the penalty area, but chipped it up over the crossbar.
Dallas got a break and tied the score at 1-1 just four minutes into the second half on Kenny Cooper's penalty kick. Rapids defender Facundo Erpen took down Oduro in the box with Coundoul out of the net, Cooper deposited Dallas' first PK goal of the season into the right side of the net. It was Cooper's team-leading ninth tally this season.
"I thought Dom did really well to earn the penalty," said Cooper, who was named to the MLS First XI for the All-Star Game. "My teammates let me take it, and I'm glad it went in."
Colorado coach Fernando Clavijo was not happy about the call.
"That was a soft penalty, a very soft penalty," Clavijo said. "I'm not going to say it wasn't or not but it was very soft. I'm disappointed but very happy with the way that we fought to get a point back. We have to make sure that we keep getting points."
FC Dallas went ahead 2-1 in the 64th minute on Juan Toja's second goal of the season and first in 15 games. Cooper drew Coundoul out of position, relaying Marcelo Saragosa's cross with his head into the middle, where a charging Toja drilled it into the open net.
"A good cross from Marcelo to Kenny and he gave to me a perfect pass," said Toja, whose last goal came in the season opener on March 30 after scoring six last season. "I just had to stop the ball and shoot to the right side. I think it's good for me. I need confidence, I need to get better and that's what I tried."
After Casey's equalizer, Dallas appeared to have taken the lead in the 87th minute but Oduro was ruled offsides after knocking home a rebound.
FC Dallas outshot the visitors, 15-10, which included nine shots on goal, but the club has still not won an MLS match under new head coach Schellas Hyndman, having gone 0-1-3 since he was hired June 17.
"We're making progress," Hyndman said. "And as long as we continue to make progress, as a coach - and I said this to them at halftime, 'I cannot yell at you for not doing something unless I've shown you want I want. And if you're not going to do what I've asked you to do, then we have issues."
"He came here one month ago and I think we are playing so hard," Toja said of Hyndman. "We are trying our best, trying to do the best of yourself, every player and I think as a team. Maybe the results don't say the same, but I think we are playing so hard, and having great performances."
FC DALLAS 2 FINAL
Jul 19 10:38 PM
- MLS UPDATE
FC DALLAS 2
COLORADO GOAL: Christian Gomez in the 67th minute
Rapids 2, FC Dallas 2 2nd - 67'Jul 19 10:03 PM
- MLS UPDATE
FC DALLAS 2
FC DALLAS GOAL: Juan Toja in the 64th minute
Rapids 1, FC Dallas 2 2nd - 64'Jul 19 10:02 PM
- MLS UPDATE
FC DALLAS 1
FC DALLAS PENALTY GOAL: Kenny Cooper in the 50th minute
Rapids 1, FC Dallas 1 2nd - 50'Jul 19 9:43 PM
FC DALLAS 0 HALFTIME
Jul 19 9:24 PM
- MLS UPDATE
FC DALLAS 0
COLORADO GOAL: Herculez Gomez in the 5th minute
Rapids 1, FC Dallas 0 1st - 5'Jul 19 8:47 PM
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