By: Rees Linn
FC Dallas managed to pull off a miraculous 2-2 draw at home against New England on Wednesday night to extend their unbeaten streak to 16 matches.
Dallas was heavily favored coming into the match having won six of their last seven at home while New England had managed just one win out of twelve games on the road. Despite their recent success, Dallas virtually limped into this contest with five starters missing. Kevin Hartman (knee), George John (hamstring), and Ugo Ihemelu (concussion) were all absent due to injury, and Brek Shea was serving a suspension for a red card he received last week against New York. The most glaring absence was that of the captain, Daniel Hernandez (hamstring), whose calming influence and leadership would be sorely missed by the home side.[picappgallerysingle id=”9835595″]
Shellas Hyndman on Hernandez’s absence: “I don’t think (the media) or the players really recognize how much of an effect Daniel Hernandez has on this team.”
With so many key players missing for the home side, it didn’t take long for the Revolution to capitalize against an unsteady looking Dallas backline. In the fifth minute, Chris Tierney one touched a nice ball over the Dallas defense to Shalrie Joseph who turned and calmly slid the ball past Dario Sala to provide New England with a 1-0 lead.
The early goal provided a much needed confidence boost for the visitors, and they continued to trouble the inexperienced Dallas backline through the physical play of Ilija Solica and Marko Perovic throughout the half.
“It’s one of the things we were scared about – to give them belief, and to give them enthusiasm”, said Hydman.
Dallas gradually recovered, but despite controlling much of the possession and attacking well on the wings through Marvin Chavez, Dallas had a difficult time creating space for Milton Ridriguez in between New England’s Cory Gibbs and Darrius Barnes.
After another good spell of possession, Dallas finally found the breakthrough they were looking for with a beautiful play down the right side. David Ferreira slipped the ball inside to Milton Rodriguez who chipped the ball over the New England defense. Ferreira ran onto the ball as Mansally slid in – bringing the Columbian down inside the area. The referee briefly hesitated and then pointed to the spot. The call was questionable, but New England’s protests were brushed aside.
It was a golden opportunity for Dallas to undo their dismal start, but to the disappointment of the crowd Ferreira sent his spot kick wide right.