Szabolcs Schön nötched 2 assists in front of an immense defensive performance from Nkoski Tafari to earn FC Dallas all 3 points as well as a huge win in the Copa Tejas. After a rough patch with only 1 win in 11, FC Dallas has now won 3 of their last 4 and is putting the important things together.
“Its about finding a way” Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez said after the game “Credit to the boys… focusing on… trying to improve.. work hard and find solutions… Pieces can step up and get the job done”
“We’ve got the players, we’ve got the team, we’ve got the tactics to compete in this league”
“Although it was ‘Dallas Stars’ night at the stadium, much of the green in the stadium was from opposing fans. Regardless an audible “STARS” yell was heard during the national anthem, a touch from the Stars faithful in attendance.
For FC Dallas it was the second Copa Tejas match of the season, looking for all 3 points after dropping 2 at home to Houston at the start of the season.
Nearly the same lineup as the past few matches but with Andres Ricaurte in the midfield in place of Edwin Cerrillo. Matt Hedges on the bench again but still no Jose Martinez.
New signing from Zenit St Petersburg, Sebastian Druissi, was in the 18 for Austin for the first time. Austin started the match lined up as a 5-3-2 with Alexander Ring captaining the team in the center of the field.
Six and a half minutes in and a cross eluded the defenders in red and found an Austin foot but Jimmy Maurer got across the box to make the save in time. A couple of minutes later, Maurer parries away a good free kick from just outside the 18.
Fourteen minutes gone and Ricardo Pepi latches onto the end of a long ball and does well to shield off the defender but his shot is collected easily by Brad Stuver. A couple minutes later Nkoski Tafari comes up with a huge block then a fantastic sliding challenge to clear.
FC Dallas’ best chance of the first half came when Pepi tried a volley just outside the corner of the 6 following a header across the box from Ryan Hollingshead, but his shot went over the bar.
42′ in, Bressan was shown a yellow for a challenge from behind following a giveaway, will be suspended for the next match. The ensuing free kick went off the crossbar and out after the wall got a piece of it.
Two halftime changes for Dallas, Ricuarte and Paxton Pomykal off, Bryan Acosta and Jader Obrian on
50′ GOAL! Schön controls a cross and sends it to the top of the box and Ryan Hollingshead rips it far post through traffic and past Stuver for a goal. El Matador celebrates the occasion with some purple smoke.
In the 56th minute, Tafari curls one into the box just inches past the head of Pepi.
Tafari’s influence grew steadily throughout the second half, as the young defender came up with huge clearances, blocks and even chances created to deny Austin from gaining any roots in Toyota stadium.
Closing in on the hour mark in the match and FC Dallas’ high pressing following an Austin goal kick led to Obrian flashing the ball across the box for a great chance.
Shortly after, Acosta laces one up the line for Pepi, who opens space for a shot but its pushed wide by Stuver.
At the 62nd minute mark, Austin subbed on all three of their DP’s at once, including new signing Druissi.
After a half of utter domination by the defender, Tafari wins the ball high up the pitch and plays Schön wide, whose cross finds Jesus Ferreira unmarked inside the box. Ferreira makes no mistake from there to put the home side up by two.
After the 2nd goal, the restart of play saw Austin push dangerously into Dallas’ box, but as the story of the match continued, Tafari was there again to snuff out the danger.
In the dying minutes of the match, Jara upended Ring from behind and kicked the ball away after the whistle was blown for the foul to earn himself a yellow. Soon after Jara was all alone on a breakaway but the whistle was blown for fulltime, much to the chagrin of the home fans as well as those in red on the pitch.
The game finished 2-0 to FC Dallas, as the home side picks up three HUGE points in the Copa Tejas battle. With 2 assists Schön was the “Schoo in” for MOTM, but the immense play of Nkoski Tafari cannot be overstated.
After the match, Coach Luchi remarked on the impact of Szabolcs, saying “He’s been such a positive player in our locker room, so excited to contribute”
When asked about the consistency of the starting front four, Ferreira said, “We are starting to know our movements, we are starting to know where our runs are gonna be” and that has led them to being able to breakdown teams much easier than before.”