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Dallas Soccer News - FC Dallas falls Chivas USA, Atiba Harris, Alecko Eskandarian

FC Dallas Falls at Chivas USA 2-0

Published 4/26/2009 5:34:57 AM by staff from dallas
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FC Dallas suffered their second loss to Chivas USA of season on Saturday night, falling 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles. Goals from Atiba Harris and Alecko Eskandarian sunk a  Dallas side that was forced to play with 10 men after goalkeeper Dario Sala was given a straight red card in the 25th minute for a handball outside the box.

The visitors were able to hold Chivas USA scoreless for half the game after losing Sala, but finally succumbed to the home side's man advantage in the 68th minute when Harris headed a Mariano Trujillo cross straight into the back of the net past backup 'keeper Ray Burse. The home side got an insurance goal from Eskandarian in stoppage time when a quick long ball from Gerson Mayen gave the striker a breakaway from 40 yards out.

The game started very physically, with Chivas USA's Atiba Harris receiving a yellow card in the first minute of play for an elbow to the head of Marcelo Saragosa. The defender took a few minutes to get bandaged up on the sideline before re-entering the game at the right back position.

The first real chance on goal came in the 11th minute of play on a Dallas free kick just beyond the Chivas USA penalty area. McCarty lined up and slammed a line drive right at the goal, which Kenny Cooper headed on straight toward the top right corner. Only a diving one-handed save from Zach Thornton kept the score sheet at zero.

Dallas continued pouring on the pressure, again testing Thornton in the 24th minute. David Ferreira chipped a high ball into the box that Kenny Cooper headed on to Dax McCarty. McCarty headed a low, hard ball to the bottom left corner, but Thornton again batted away the effort.

The game took a strange turn in the 25th minute when Sala was given a straight red card by referee Abbey Okulaja for a handball outside the box. Sala came rushing off his line to stop a breakaway from Chivas USA striker Chuwudi Chijindu in the 25th minute, the ball ricocheting off his left hand in the diving save. FC Dallas quickly brought Ray Burse on for the ejected Sala, pulling Dax McCarty off the field to do so.

Now playing a man down, Dallas continued pushing forward and almost found the back of the net again in the 30th minute when a low pass from Ferreira on the right side was touched on to Dave van den Bergh by Cooper. Van den Bergh shot low and hard to the right, but was denied again by a saving Thornton.   Chivas finally began taking advantage of their extra player in the 33rd minute when Jonathan Bornstein lofted a ball into the Dallas box from the left flank that forced a leaping save from Burse. The backup looked confident in place of the ejected Sala after only having been on the field for eight minutes.

The home side fired again three minutes later, this time on a direct kick from the top left corner of the box. Carey Talley sent a line drive right into the heart of the Dallas defense that somehow found the head of Atiba Harris in the melee, but the St. Kitts international's header bounced just wide of the goal.  Chivas USA continued to control the tempo of the game, enjoying long spells of passing through the midfield as they looked for a way through a resolute Dallas defense. A spirited first half ended with the home side firmly in the driver's seat.

The second half began where the first left off, with Chivas USA controlling the midfield and sending a number of balls into the Dallas area. Burse got his first real test of the second half in the 56th minute when Chivas USA striker Justin Braun found some space on the right side and sent a hard ball toward the top left corner of the net. Burse backpedaled furiously and just got a hand to the shot, tipping it over the net for a corner.

Dallas wasn't out of trouble yet. Carey Talley dropped the ensuing corner kick right onto the top of the six-yard box. It bounced off of a few players before it finally ended up on the foot of Chijindu, whose low shot missed just right of Burse's net.

Dallas midfielder David Ferreira gave the visitors a look at the Chivas USA net in the 64th minute when a deft pass from Dave van den Bergh broke the Colombian free on the right side. He shot low and hard to the right, forcing yet another diving save from Thornton.

Harris finally put Chivas USA on the board in the 68th minute when he headed a low cross from Trujillo directly into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for Chivas USA.  Dallas got a chance of its own in the 75th minute when Cooper slotted a pass to van den Bergh on the left side of the box. The Holland native's shot skipped off the left post and out of play for a goal kick.

Cooper again lead the Dallas attack into the Chivas USA box in the 81st minute when he broke free of his defender on the left side and broke down the wing. He sent a low pass across the top of the 18 to Dallas captain Ricchetti, who one-touched a hard shot just left of the net.   The visitors seemed to have found fresh legs in the final 10 minutes as they continued to put pressure on the Chivas USA defense. A poor back pass from Shavar Thomas to Zach Thornton was intercepted by David Ferreira on the left side of the box. The speedy midfielder skirted around Thornton, but was unable to find the net, his effort just sliding left of the goal.

The teams were left level when Harris was sent off for a second yellow card in the 89th minute, but it was Chivas that responded.   A free kick from van den Bergh was punched away by Thornton and out into the midfield. Mayen quickly retrieved the ball and sent a long pass over the heads of Drew Moor and Daniel Torres and into the path of Alecko Eskandarian. The veteran striker made no mistake, hitting a hard shot into the lower right corner of the net to make it 2-0.

FC Dallas return to action next Saturday with a second trip to Washington to face DC United, who they lost to 2-0 on Wednesday in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match.

Label: FC Dallas falls Chivas USA, Atiba Harris, Alecko Eskandarian
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