FC Dallas got its second late game-winning goal in a row, this time off the foot of midfielder Brek Shea in the 88th minute, to give the team a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact Saturday night at FC Dallas Stadium.
The late strike capped a second half comeback after Montreal took a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute on a penalty kick converted by Bernardo Corradi. Dallas’ first goal was forward Blas Perez’s third of the season. The opportunistic Panamanian headed home an equalizer in the 77th minute, much to the delight of the 16,164 in attendance.
But the fireworks belonged to Shea, who took a pass from Fabian Castillo at the top of the area, went by a defender and finished past a sliding Donovan Ricketts. The play was set up by Loyd, who tossed a throw-in to Perez. Perez headed a ball that went backwards over a defender to Castillo, who knocked a short pass to his right side for Shea. Castillo’s assist was the 800th in FC Dallas’ history.
Prior to the exciting second half, FC Dallas and the Impact battled through a scoreless and physical 45 minutes that produced 16 fouls and three cautions.
Forward Blas Perez nearly gave the home side the lead in the ninth minute when he headed a corner kick on goal from close range. Unfortunately for Dallas, Ricketts was in perfect position to push the shot attempt over the bar.
The Impact had its best chance of the half cut out by defender George John in the 31st minute. On the play, Montreal’s Collen Warner played a perfect 40-yard through ball to midfielder Davy Arnaud. Working through a defender off the ball, John hustled and caught Arnaud from behind, taking the ball away with a well-timed slide tackle at the top of the area. The tackle prevented a one-on-one situation between Arnaud and FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
FC Dallas right back Hernan Pertuz worked his way up the pitch and into the attack near the end of the first half. He found Perez with a cutting ball that was played into the forward’s feet. With his first touch, Perez knocked a ball over the top of Montreal’s back line into space for Castillo. In alone against Ricketts, Castillo’s attempt to chip the sliding goalkeeper was knocked down by the long arms of the Jamaican.
Montreal gained its 1-0 lead in the 61st minute on Corradi’s penalty kick. The kick was awarded by referee Ramon Hernandez after FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd and Arnaud came together while battling for a 50-50 ball at the back post. The chance was set up by a long ball played in to the back post from near midfield.
Dallas battled back and evened the score in the 77th minute on the goal scored by Perez. Just as in its last match, FC Dallas converted a set piece opportunity from just outside the top left corner of the area. Daniel Hernandez took the free kick, driving a high line-drive to the back post where defender John rose above a pack of players to head a shot off the crossbar. Cleaning up the rebound at the front post was Perez, who nodded a low shot just inside the post to bring the score level.
Montreal’s Zarek Valentin nearly gave the visitors back the lead in the 84th minute when he hammered a line drive shot at Hartman from outside the area. Diving to his right side, Hartman kept Dallas in the match with a spectacular punch. Four minutes later Shea buried the game-winner at the opposite end of the pitch.