By: Rees Linn
Two Chris Wondolowski goals were enough for San Jose to snatch a victory against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday night. Last year’s Golden Boot winner completed his brace before halftime to open his account for the season and send the hosts into panic mode.
Wondolowski’s first goal came just four minutes into the match when Chris Leitch found himself in acres of space in the right channel. He lifted the ball over Zach Loyd to Wondolowski who instinctively brought the ball down with his chest before volleying past Kevin Hartman.
Dallas looked to be regaining their composure and confidence when Wondolowski bagged his second of the night in the 23rd minute. Joey Gjertson ended up with the ball on the left wing after a poor defensive clearance from Dallas, and he crossed in to Wondolowski whose glancing header left no chance for Kevin Hartman.
A clearly panicked Dallas pressed forward for the remainder of the half, but was generally too direct in their approach. Possession was given away cheaply as they tried to force the issue. Simon Dawkins, San Jose’s new loan signing from Tottenham, was instrumental in helping the visitors retain possession in the center of the pitch – usually a difficult task against Dallas’s busy midfield.
The second half was a completely one sided affair with Dallas bringing all of the pressure. The MLS debut of Fabian Castillo in the 57th brought a new level of energy and pace to the North Texas side. The speed of Castillo and Chavez, combined with the vision and skill of David Ferreira created a wealth of chances for Dallas, but each one went begging. A combination of poor finishing and fantastic saves from Jon Busch was enough to deprive Dallas of any goals on the night.
Still, Dallas fans will be encouraged by the energy their team displayed in the second half. Assuming that Brek Shea’s red card last week hasn’t halted his transition to center back, Castillo showed that he could be the answer on the left side. Also, Eric Avila proved again that while he may not be ready for a starting role he’s still more than capable of providing attacking creativity and flair when used as a second half substitute.
After the match, Frank Yallop was pleased but realistic about his team’s win, “Very happy to get three points. I felt from last week we played very well and didn’t get anything out of the game. I thought Dallas obviously deserved to get something out of this game, but that’s the way soccer goes. You’ve got to take your chances when they come along, and I felt we had two terrific goals tonight and Dallas did miss a few chances.”