For the third time this season, FC Dallas came from behind to win at home. A pair of goals by Jesus Ferreira helped the home side achieve its first win over Vancouver since 2018, and first in Frisco since 2016.
“The win means a lot to us,” said FC Dallas midfielder Tsiki Ntsabeleng. “We’ve been talking about it since the Austin game, staying consistent because we haven’t beaten them in a long time to bring the happy days out.”
Some rotation was inevitable with four games in 11 days so there were a couple of changes from the 1-0 win in Austin.
The biggest impact was in the middle of the park as Paxton Pomykal and Sebastian Lletget were out of the roster entirely. Edwin Cerrillo and Tsiki Ntsabeleng were in midfield with Facundo Quignon making a 4-2-3-1 that Dallas doesn’t play all that often.
The front three stayed the same as Paul Arriola’s return was cut short at the weekend. Jesus Ferreira was up top with Alan Velasco and Jader Obrian on the wings.
A single change in the back too, as Sebastien Ibeagha rotated to the bench. Nkosi Tafari came in to partner Jose Martinez. Ema Twumasi and Marco Farfan at full back with Maarten Paes in goal.
Jesus Jimenez was the big addition to the bench, returning with a cast for his broken hand after an MRI earlier in the week. Herbert Endeley made his first bench for FC Dallas.
Dallas progressed the ball well in the early stages. Jader Obrian had a fantastic opportunity in the 14th minute off a Jesus Ferreira cross from the left wing. The Colombian winger had enough time to take a touch and set his shot, but still managed to blaze the ball well over the bar.
Vancouver took the lead out of nothing in the 23rd minute in a true When Playing It Out Of The Back moment. After recovering possession from a Vancouver throw-in in the midfield, Marco Farfan played back to Maarten Paes. Taking enough time for Brian White to jog over and close his options down, the Dutchman attempted a pass well wide of Edwin Cerrillo that Pedro Vite side-footed home with his first touch.
The Hoops came agonizingly close in the 35th minute off a dangerous cross from Ema Twumasi. Jesus Ferreira spread the ball wide for the Ghanaian, who drove a low cross through traffic. Jader Obrian tried to meet the ball at the front post but could only get a slight touch. Alan Velasco made a run out of midfield for the middle of the six-yard box but slipped attempting to adjust his stride after Obrian’s touch. The Argentine still managed to nutmeg a defender on the ground and work the ball to Tsiki Ntsabeleng at the back post, but the defender recovered to clear the chance.
Dallas only needed another two minutes to peg the Caps back. Some great work from Jader Obrian – riding two challenges before feeding a pass between the center backs – got the ball to Jesus Ferreira at the top of the box. Ferreira took a touch, pulling the ball back as three defenders overran the ball, before shooting low to the keeper’s left for his 43rd FC Dallas goal.
Obrian was having himself a strong evening and almost got in the other column on the scoring sheet a couple of minutes after halftime.
Ema Twumasi tried to thread a pass through from out wide on the right, a deflection off a Vancouver leg put a spin on the ball that held up nicely behind a defender for Obrian to run in and attempt a shot close to the six-yard box. Unfortunately for Dallas man, he pulled his shot across the face of the goal.
It felt like another Huntsmen goal was coming and Jesus Ferreira duly delivered in the 54th minute.
The WPIOOTB guys got another workout as Ranko Veselinovic coughed up a ball to Tsiki Ntsabeleng attempting a pass along the back line. The South African’s deflection fell nicely to Ferreira who turned a challenge in the box and put the ball straight between the keeper’s legs for the lead. Kenny Cooper’s second place in the all-time FCD scoring chart was getting close. The Houston Hitman scored 46 regular season goals to Ferreira’s now-44.
The Whitecaps certainly weren’t done, with Mathias Labarda stinging the hands of Paes from distance and Vancouver had the ball in some nice spaces in the Dallas box.
Both teams went to the bench in the 67th minute. Bernard Kamungo replaced Alan Velasco. Bernie took up on the right wing with Obrian switching to the left. Three minutes later Sebastien Ibeagha replaced Ntsabeleng as Dallas went to a 3-4-3 trying to gain numbers on an increasingly threatening Whitecaps attack.
Paes came up big once again in the 73rd minute, saving a close-range header from substitute Simon Becher with Nkosi Tafari applying enough pressure to prevent Becher from getting everything behind the chance.
Vancouver was throwing numbers forward and attempting to beat the Dallas back line for pace, bringing on the likes of Deiber Caicedo as they pumped long balls up to a flat front four for the final 15 minutes.
Jesus Ferreira wouldn’t get his hat trick, being replaced by Sam Junqua in the 82nd minute to reshuffle the front line again. The former Dynamo full back tried his hand at wing after a decent run out as a left midfielder in the Open Cup, playing a much deeper line than a typical winger along with Bernie, as Obrian went up front in more of a 5-4-1 shape.
Both wide players came up with big challenges late in the game as Dallas held on dearly for the points.
“[Instructions from coach were] to stay narrow and not let balls inside,” explained Sam Junqua of Coach Estevez’s instructions. It’s to try to get some pressure on their outside backs when they get the ball so they don’t have just a free ball in, and pretty much just support the backline as much as possible because they were under a lot of pressure from all the balls that are being played in.”
Results around the league were kind to Dallas, after reaching third on 21 points, both Seattle and LAFC above them dropped points to leave FCD two points out of the Western Conference lead.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Texas Derby at the weekend as Dallas hosts Houston.