Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas over Atletico Paranaense 2-1

Published 3/23/2008 11:37:08 AM by staff from fcdallas

FC Dallas finished their preseason schedule with a victory in the USA-Brazil challenge for the first time, defeating South American partner Clube Atletico Paranaense of Brazil 2-1 on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park.   After the visitors took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a 15th-minute goal by CAP forward Leonardo Le, FC Dallas answered with a score by David Wagenfuhr in the 35th and another by Pablo Ricchetti two minutes later to take the victory. The Hoops claimed a 2-0 win in Brazil three weeks ago.  Earlier in the week, Morrow said that the lineup against CAP would be very close to his starting 11 for their MLS season opener next weekend. However, there were a few alterations.


Aaron Pitchkolan came in at center back since Duilio Davino was unavailable due to a bone bruise on his left knee. Also, Alex Yi started at right center back since normal starter Drew Moor will be unavailable due to a suspension for next week's season opener.  The visitors had FC Dallas on their heels from the outset, and took the lead after a couple of good early chances. In the 15th minute, CAP defender Douglas Maia took a free kick almost from midfield. His high, arcing ball found Le, who was sandwiched in between FCD defenders Aaron Pitchkolan and Alex Yi. Le got his head on the ball and it sailed into the right upper corner past  'keeper Dario Sala, who appeared to be caught off guard.

FCD tied the game when forward Kenny Cooper was near the top of the CAP box but was bottled up by the opposition. The Dallas native held up play long enough to drop a pass to Wagenfuhr, who was a few yards behind him. Wagenfuhr then hit a nice chip shot into the far side of the net from about 22 yards out for the equalizer.  Richetti then equalized, but not without some drama. After the FCD midfielder sent a right-footed free kick from about 22 yards out that bounced before going into the far side of the net, the CAP players erupted and rushed toward referee Richard Sanchez.

The visitors' point of contention was that they didn't feel like they had time to sufficiently set themselves before the free kick. Sanchez had moved them back 10 yards prior to the goal but once he stepped back, Ricchetti stepped up, took the kick and scored.   In the ensuing scrum, Sanchez was pushed to the ground by CAP forward Eduardo Salles. Michel was also rushing toward him and put his hands on Sanchez just as Salles arrived. Once things died down, Michel and Salles were both sent off.

However, the drama didn't end there. With Michel and Salles still on the field, Sanchez and the other three officials were ready to leave the field but were met by FCD head coach Steve Morrow and other team officials at the near the tunnel. The FCD contingent talked the officials into continuing but by the time play had resumed, more than eight minutes had passed. At the end of the half, seven minutes of stoppage time were added.  Morrow made a pair of changes at the break. Juan Toja entered the match for Marcelo Saragosa in the midfield. Toja played just behind the FCD front line of Cooper and Abe Thompson, who entered the match at halftime for Ricardinho, who suffered an ankle injury during the first half that required attention.

Even with two extra attackers, FC Dallas still wasn't able to control possession and create many chances. In the 77th minute, the Hoops nearly added a third goal when Thompson sent a great ball into Dominic Oduro, who came on in the 75th minute for Cooper. The Ghanaian forward had a great view of the net but CAP 'keeper Julain Viafara played his shot perfectly to make a save and send his effort over the crossbar for a corner kick.  And in the 80th minute, Thompson was on the receiving end of a great feed. The FCD striker found himself with a nice chance at the top of the arc and took a quick shot but his effort was right at Viafara and he made another stop for the visitors.

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