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Dallas Soccer News - FC Dallas 3 Colorado Rapids 1

FC Dallas 3 Colorado Rapids 1

Published 4/22/2007 5:14:26 PM by Staff from MLSnet.com
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After playing their first three matches of the 2007 MLS regular season away from home, FC Dallas finally made their home debut Sunday, and it was worth the wait as the Hoops got two goals from midfielder Ramon Nunez and beat the Colorado Rapids 3-1.

Nunez struck in the 29th and 78th minutes, and Dominic Oduro finished off the affair with a goal in second half stoppage time as FCD rebounded from an ugly defeat to the New York Red Bulls last week, claiming victory in front of a sellout crowd of 20,500 fans at Pizza Hut Park.  For the Rapids, it was yet another disappointment in Big D. Colorado hasn't won in Dallas during the regular season since May 5, 2001, a span of 12 games in which the Rapids are 0-9-2. Of course, the Rapids have managed to win in Dallas when it counts, eliminating the Hoops in the Western Conference Semifinals at Pizza Hut Park in each of the last two seasons.

Virtually from the opening kick, the Hoops looked like a team that wanted to deliver a message against their conference rivals. In the opening minute of play, FCD forward Kenny Cooper launched a blast from about 35 yards out, but it went wide left.

Nunez generated the bulk of the offensive chances in the first half as FCD dominated play, the SMU product taking four shots in the opening stanza. In the 16th minute, he sent a great corner to the Colorado box that bounced around before Rapids defender Greg Vanney, who spent his last two seasons with FCD, headed the ball out of danger while standing on the goal line.

Nunez, who missed most of training last week while he was in his native Honduras waiting to receive his U.S. green card, finally converted for the home side in the 29th minute after receiving a great pass from second-year midfielder Dax McCarty just outside the 18. After McCarty found Nunez, the Dallas native worked his way into the Rapids box and faked out defender Brandon Prideaux to give himself an open look at goal. He then beat Colorado goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul at the near post to make it 1-0. It was McCarty's first career MLS assist.

In the 31st minute, Cooper had a great chance at netting his third goal of the season when left back Chris Gbandi found him streaking toward the goal from the right. Unfortunately, the FCD striker's sliding attempt at the goal went wide left.

The Rapids didn't get their first shot of the half until the 21st minute when Jovan Kirovski nearly converted a great cross into the first goal of the match but saw his effort go wide left. But in the 34th minute, Kirovski got a pass inside the FCD box from Terry Cooke, which he appeared to bring down with his hand, though no whistle blew.

Kirovski then sent a lob toward the net, which looped over the head of Hoops goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and settled into the back of the net to level the match. Cooke was credited with his third assist of the season on the equalizer.  Colorado nearly took the lead in the 44th minute when Herculez Gomez sent a perfectly-placed free kick into the Hoops box. Rapids defender Mike Petke was waiting near the far post, but his shot hit the crossbar.

The Rapids held FCD captain Carlos "Fish" Ruiz to no shots in the first half. The Guatemalan international did not touch the ball much in the opening frame and waited until the 48th minute to get his first shot of the match. After receiving a nice pass from Juan Toja, Ruiz attempted a scissor kick, but the shot went to the left of the Rapids goal.

In the 58th minute, Colorado was awarded a free kick just outside the FCD box after Hoops right back Drew Moor was booked for a hard foul. Gomez took the free kick, laying the ball off to Vanney, who launched a blast from about 30 yards out but it sailed over the Hoops goal.  Looking to spark his offense, FCD head coach Steve Morrow took Ruiz out in the 68th minute for speedy second-year striker Dominic Oduro. Ruiz handed the captain's armband to Gbandi as he was leaving the field.

Gomez missed a golden opportunity to give his side the lead in the 69th when he had the ball about 10 yards from the Dallas net. But he was unable to get off a good shot and the proceedings remained deadlocked.