FC Dallas reclaimed the annual Texas Derby from rival Houston Dynamo, 3-2, with a 90th minute strike from Kenny Cooper in front of 15,623 fans at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco on Sunday
After the host Dallas side claimed an early 2-0 lead, Houston evened the match with two second-half goals for what appeared to be headed for a draw. However, Michel delivered a dangerous ball into the box in the final seconds of regulation and Cooper pounced on the opportunity to score his first goal for the red and white since returning home to Dallas this season.
FC Dallas and the Dynamo batted through 15 minutes of physical soccer before either team created any solid scoring opportunities. Dallas’ right back Zach Loyd was the first player to get a good look at goal in the 17th minute, when a cross played in from the left flank by Jackson fell to the feet of the late-arriving defender. Loyd used his first touch to avoid a pair of Dynamo defenders at the top of the area but his left-footed shot swung well wide of the goal.
Houston counter-punched in the 21st minute when Giles Barnes beat Dallas’ offsides trap and was in alone against Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez. The Peruvian remained glued to his right post as Barnes entered the top of the box, forcing the striker to take a shot from a tough angle. Barnes attempted to beat Fernandez from 12 yards out but the goalkeeper got both hands to the shot and was able to hold on for the save.
FC Dallas then exploded for two goals in less than two minutes. The first came off a set piece in the 34th minute. From 40 yards out, Michel sent a left-footed line drive to the top of the six-yard box. Defender George John came free of his marker and chipped a shot past Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall to give Dallas a 1-0 lead.
Following the kickoff, Dallas quickly won back possession of the ball and earned a corner kick in the 35th minute. From the corner flag, David Ferreira bent a cross into the center of the six-yard box where Andrew Jacobson was able to volley a shot high to the near post, giving the home side a 2-0 advantage.
Houston pulled within a goal when substitute Andrew Driver cracked a shot off the crossbar and into the net in the 79th minute. Driver was assisted on the play by Kofi Sarkodie, who tracked down a ball that was played over the top of FC Dallas’ backline. Sarkodie won the ball back on the end line, well inside Dallas’ penalty area. He crossed the ball to the top of the box for Driver, who had plenty of time to pick out the crossbar behind FC Dallas’ Fernandez.
Just four minutes later, the Dynamo evened the score, 2-2 when Cam Weaver got in behind the FC Dallas backline via a through ball from Brian Ching. From the right flank, Weaver attempted to pick out Driver but FC Dallas’ Fernandez managed to get a hand to the pass. Unfortunately for Dallas, the rebound was knocked into the path of late-arriving midfielder Brad Davis, who finished high to the back post in the 83rd minute.
Cooper closed off the win for Dallas in the 90th minute, after he brought down a well-placed ball from Michel and sent a left-footed shot cleanly past Tally Hall to the bottom right corner.
DAL – George John 34
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (David Ferreira) 36
HOU – Andrew Driver (Kofi Sarkodie) 79
HOU – Brad Davis 83
DAL – Kenny Cooper (Michel) 90
FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Jair Benitez (Je-Vaughn Watson 73), George John, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, David Ferreira, Andrew Jacobson, Michel, Jackson (Fabian Castillo 80), Blas Perez, Kenny Cooper (Eric Hassli 90+2). Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Bobby Warshaw, Stephen Keel, London Woodberry.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Jackson 3, Blas Perez 2, Kenny Cooper 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Kenny Cooper 2, Blas Perez, Andrew Jacobson, Jackson, George John 1); FOULS: 9 (Blas Perez 3, Jackson 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Jackson, Blas Perez, Eric Hassli 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Michel, David Ferreira 1); SAVES: 4 (Raul Fernandez 4).
Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie (Cam Weaver 81), Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe, Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat (Andrew Driver 69), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 49), Giles Barnes.Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Eric Brunner, Luiz Camargo, Warren Creavalle.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Will Bruin 3, Files Barnes, Andrew Driver 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Andrew Driver 2, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Will Bruin, Files Barnes 1); FOULS: 15 (Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark 3, Bobby Boswell, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Oscar Boniek Garcia, Giles Barnes 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Brad Davis 4); SAVES: 3 (Tally Hall 3).
Misconduct Summary: HOU – Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 55; DAL – Kenny Cooper (caution) 90+1
Referee: Jair Marrufo. Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria, Adam Garner. 4th Official: Ismail Elfath.
Attendance: 15,623. Time of Game: 1:53. Weather: Cloudy, 66 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
On today’s game:
It was a pretty wide-open game with two teams that put everything on the field. They are very hard-working and had a lot of different weapons coming at us. We got goals today from a defender, a midfielder and a forward, which is seldom you ever get all three lines scoring goals. I hated to see the goals we gave up because I think those are the type of goals that are stoppable.
On the resiliency, fighting back to get that win:
As I mentioned to the players at halftime one of the most dangerous scores in soccer is 2-0, and the reason it’s dangerous is because you kind of put it on cruise-control. You’re up 2-0 and what ends up happening is the opposition comes in and scores one. They have the momentum. They have the potential. They have the belief and you just lost your mental strength. It’s hard to turn it back on, and normally you will see a second score come, and it happened today.
On scoring twice off set pieces, while denying Houston set piece goals:
It’s one of their strengths when we talk about team strengths. This is one of their strengths. I think when Will Bruin got hurt, that hurt them, because he was really causing us a lot of problems on his runs and his physical play. To get two goals off of a team that is strong in the air, and a good goalkeeper who has been to the MLS Cup the last two seasons, it’s great.
FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson
On scoring his first goal of the season:
George was going for it, but it went right over his head so I tried to get my foot on it. It hit pretty clean and it went in.
A lot of fouls, they are a very physical team. That’s what they do, that’s no surprise to us. They made good adjustments once they went down and started overloading the midfield. They have a lot of very talented players; that was a big win for us.
How did Houston playing in Mexico affect today’s game?
I don’t know if I ever believe that stuff – I’ve been in plenty of games like that where you play better (the next game). It was a tough game, I’ll tell you that and I was definitely happy to win it.
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges
I thought we had a good first half. I thought we were possessing well and being physical with them because they are a pretty physical team. We’ve been working on free kicks because we’ve got a lot of big guys and two free kicks right in a row we put them 2-0 down.
When you’re down 2-0 you’re going to press high and get some chances. They scored two chances we shouldn’t have given them but at the end we buried the one we had so it was a good game.
FC Dallas defender George John
I felt it go off the back of my head, looked up and it’s in the back of the net. I put myself in a good place and I was lucky to get a goal out of it. Obviously on set pieces you’re always trying to fight and get to the ball. Whether it goes off of your face, your head, shoulder, if it gets in the goal, it’s a goal.
We were up 2-0 and it’s definitely disappointing that we let in two goals in a span of probably two minutes. It was great that we came together and Kenny was able to get us one and get the three points.
Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear
We did great to come back into it to get it back to 2-2. I thought the guys did great, showed great fighting spirit. Then they netted one at the end.
On the adjustments after FC Dallas’ first two goals:
We changed formations a little bit. It was good that we got halftime to regroup. I thought we came out and played well in the second half. In the first 20 minutes, we had chances to go 1-0 up. We just didn’t take care of the set pieces side of it. They delivered some good balls and attacked it well and got some good bounces. So in the second half we changed it up a little bit and got back in the game, but that last little play there was enough to give Dallas the win.
Houston midfielder Corey Ashe
Obviously you don’t want to start the game off by giving up two quick goals. (It was) just a mental lapse. They did well on both set pieces.
You get the first one and focus on getting the second one. Unfortunately we gave up the third one. I thought we showed a lot of character coming back and tying it.
Houston defender Bobby Boswell
I just think we were pushing it. We had spells in the first half when we were good but gave up two goals on set pieces, which is uncharacteristic of this team. Credit to our guys, we did change our formations a bit and our personnel, and we were really pushing hard. They were kind of absorbing the pressure because they could. Then before you know it we got two real quick. Then it kind of went the other way. We tried to absorb and they came out and pushed and they got the late goal.