Dallas Soccer DFW

Second straight road win, FC Dallas over Chicago

Published 5/18/2007 3:37:09 AM by staff from www.soccermogul.com

 FC Dallas continued their recent dominance over the Chicago Fire, capturing a 2-1 victory on MLS Primetime Thursday at Toyota Park. FCD got goals from Kenny Cooper in the first half and Juan Toja in the second, as they took over top spot in the Western Conference with the victory. The Fire got a late goal from Calen Carr, but couldn't avoid going down to their third consecutive defeat.

The game was the first Brimstone Cup meeting of the 2007 season, the trophy awarded to the winner of the season series between the clubs by the supporters' groups of both sides, and once again the Hoops already have the upper hand. FC Dallas have defeated Chicago in three consecutive meetings, nine of the last 11 league games, and have been in control of the Brimstone Cup since the 2002 season.  Both teams struggled in the early going to put together any sort of coherent attack. In the fifth minute, FC Dallas defender Drew Moor lofted a weak attempt toward the Fire goal, but 'keeper Matt Pickens was able to snatch it from the air.

In the 12th minute, Cooper gave the home fans an idea what was yet to come when he recorded the first shot on goal of the game. The Dallas forward tried to chip in a lofted ball from just outside the box but Pickens had no worries in corralling the attempt.  The Fire won a corner kick in the 18th minute, and Justin Mapp's service connected with C.J. Brown. But the Chicago defender's shot misfired to the left.

FCD broke through in the 24th minute. A long ball from Toja out of the midfield caught the Fire back line playing high, and Cooper ran on to it all alone. Well inside the penalty area, he tried to push it around Pickens, but the Chicago 'keeper caught enough of Cooper to knock him over and referee Brian Hall immediately called for a penalty kick.  Cooper converted from the spot, sending Pickens the wrong way with a stutter-step move as he drove the ball to the 'keeper's left.  Chicago had seven corner kicks in the half, but the Fire were unable to record a shot on goal. The closest they came was from a corner in the 33rd minute.

A loose ball fell to the ground in the goal area, and with his back to the FC Dallas goal, Dasan Robinson tried to hook it back over his head. He succeeded in doing so, only to see it crack off the crossbar. It was a trend that would continue on the night for the Fire.  Cooper nearly doubled the FC Dallas lead early in the second half when a Fire pass completely missed its intended target and the second-year forward hammered it toward goal first-time from well outside the area. It had Pickens beat as it curled toward the goal, only to crash against the crossbar in the 54th minute.

But it didn't take longer for the Hoops to break through again. In the 60th minute, Abe Thompson - who was starting in place of Carlos Ruiz, who had a hamstring injury -- was in possession on the left side.  With his back to goal, he spotted a sprinting Toja making his way toward him. Thompson laid back a beauty of a pass toward the middle of the penalty area and Toja never broke stride, drilling his second goal of the year past Pickens inside the far, right post.

Calen Carr, who was started at forward for the Fire in place of the injured Chris Rolfe, became the next Chicago player to hit the woodwork in the 70th minute when his close-range shot banged off the crossbar.  But Carr made amends three minutes later when he swept home a shot from the goalmouth. Thiago played a great through ball on the left, and Chad Barrett rounded the corner before centering a low pass. Carr came racing in along with a defender, but got the final touch on the ball to knock it into the Dallas goal.

The Fire had one last chance in the 83rd minute. Mapp sent in a corner from the left and Thiago got his head on it first at the near post. But it hit the face of the post dead-on and caromed away, and that was the home side's last chance. FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala wasn't credited with a single save on the night, but certainly had his posts to thank for the victory.

© www.SoccerDFW.com 2020