Crew counters earn a point

FC Dallas welcomed the Eastern Conference’s top side, the Columbus Crew. After a goalless draw against Orlando City last week, Dallas sought to make home advantage count. The visitors had yet to win on the road since the restart and hadn’t won three points in Frisco since 2013.

“The end result is disappointing because we had the lead twice. When you have the lead, it’s your job to close the game and to win it. I have to be positive that I felt we showed some of our best soccer this game. We had some of the best highs in terms of with the ball, combos, playing in the channels and confident play. We also showed some of our best moments of pressure, collective pressure and commitment from everybody on the field. Those are good takeaways. But the end result is still a draw.”

Luchi Gonzalez on the result

Luchi Gonzalez only made one change from the goalless draw against Orlando City as Santiago Mosquera missed out with a strained quad. Fafa Picault came in as Dallas adopted more of a 4-2-3-1 shape with a double pivot.

The Hoops’ high press saw some early pressure around the Crew area. Barrios floated a high cross in the eighth minute. Ryan Hollingshead got a free header from beyond the back post but couldn’t keep it down.

Youness Mokhtar almost gave the Crew the lead after some impressive play from Lucas Zelarayan around the 30-minute mark. Zelarayan picked up a loose ball in midfield, turning Thiago Santos and Andres Ricaurte before feeding Mokhtar. The left winger takes a few steps into the corner of the Dallas area before producing a powerful effort that Jimmy Maurer can only take the sting out of the ball for Ryan Hollingshead to clear away.

The home side would get back to scoring ways just ten minutes later. Franco Jara spreads the ball right to Bryan Reynolds before completing the one-two pass. The Argentine striker lays off to Fafa Picault, having switched wings with Barrios. Picault plays a deep cross from 25 yards out which Barrios is able to run on to and power a header over the keeper from almost the exact spot Hollingshead’s earlier miss came.

Picault almost sets up a second two minute later with a low ball across the face of goal, but Jara was just out of reach in looking to send FCD in two goals to the good.

“Columbus is a great team, but they were both basically counters against the run of play. The biggest thing is that they came out hungrier than us in the second half. You got to come out with more energy and not be caught in the back foot and that was the same kind of pressing as well as when we first started to try and build.”

Jimmy Maurer on Columbus’ goals

Columbus caught Dallas cold just 62 seconds after the break as a low cross from Harrison Afful evaded everyone in the Dallas area bar a wide-open Mokhtar who made no mistake at the far post to bring the sides level.

The old Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup matchup rarely sees goals, but Reto Ziegler made sure it would be the first three-goal game in five years from the spot in the 53rd minute.

Harrison Afful went through the back of Michael Barrios at an aerial ball in the Crew area and Ted Unkel immediately pointed to the spot. Ziegler shot low to Eloy Room’s left after the Crew stopper received a yellow card for refusing to stand on his line.

Columbus were looking like forcing their way back again, and thought they had in the 57th minute. Pedro Santos released Luis Diaz down the right on the counter. Once again a low cross proves the FC Dallas’ back line’s undoing as both fullbacks were out of position and the two center backs overrun the ball only to watch Gyasi Zardes score. Dallas gets a brief reprieve as Santos was found to be offside for the initial pass by VAR.

That let-off would only last for five minutes as Columbus gave no doubts of the validity of their equalizer.

The Crew won a free kick down the right hand side, taking it quickly and switching play to the left as Dallas players were still getting back to their defensive duties. Emmanuel Boateng takes the ball to the end line, crossing low for Pedro Santos to turn in.

The teams traded dangerous crosses for much of the final twenty minutes as Dallas seemed to get gradually closer. Dante Sealy almost had an acrobatic finish but for some steady defensive work, but going into the final minute Bryan Reynolds broke free down the right with a cross on the head of Franco Jara at the edge of the six-yard-box. Unfortunately for the former Pachuca forward, the ball was slightly behind, catching Jara leaning back to loop over the bar.

The Crew weren’t done yet it seemed, as a Pedro Santos free kick from the half found Jonathan Mensah at the byline. Mensah pushed the ball across the face of goal but could only find Dante Sealy, whose clearance saw the end of the danger as the teams finished tied for the third consecutive time at Toyota Stadium.

“We scored two today which is positive against a good defensive side, but we also conceded two and we have to be disappointed with that. We have to reflect on why we let those goals in. Overall, we had really good highs that we can use as a reference to continue to improve on for the next game–which is Houston away.”

Luchi Gonzalez

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