Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas falls to Columbus at home

Published 8/31/2008 1:06:29 PM by staff from mlsnet

It was just two weeks ago that Columbus and FC Dallas met at Crew Stadium and the home side came away with a 2-1 comeback win. It was a nearly identical story for the Black and Gold in another 2-1 win over the Hoops at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday night.   Dallas drew first blood in the 35th minute when Jeff Cunningham scored his fifth goal of the year and second for the Hoops. Assisting on the tally was rookie Bruno Guarda, who got his first career helper in his first league start.   However, any positive feelings that FCD had after taking the 1-0 lead were short-lived when Columbus' Alejandro Moreno drew the match level in the 37th. Guillermo Barros Schelotto started the sequence with a corner kick from the far flag that found Chad Marshall inside the box.

Marshall then headed the ball toward the far post where Moreno was waiting and the Crew striker headed it home for his eighth goal of the year.   Then, just four minutes later, the visitors struck again. This time it was Eddie Gaven who found the back of the net for the Crew. His first tally of 2008 came after Schelotto worked free from Drew Moor and sent a well-placed cross toward Gaven, who was near the right post.

All Gaven had to do was head the ball into the net, which he did with a shot that glanced off the fingertips of FCD goalkeeper Dario Sala. That assist gave Schelotto 16 for the season, a new Columbus single-season record.   Just over a minute before Gaven put the Black and Gold ahead, Columbus rookie defender Andy Iro nearly netted the first goal of his MLS career before his header nailed the crossbar instead of finding the back of the canvas.

Before taking the lead in the 35th, the home side had several choice opportunities at goal. In the 17th minute, Guarda hit a shot from about 30 yards out that Kenny Cooper got a foot on. Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer smothered the ball before it popped free but was able to cover the shot before any Dallas players arrived.   And in the 28th, a free kick from FCD midfielder Dax McCarty found Andre Rocha inside the box. The Brazilian international's header caromed off the crossbar near the far post. Adrian Serioux was able to get a foot on the ball but his shot went to the right of goal.   Rocha hit the crossbar again in the 31st. This time, he lined up in the dead center of the field about 25 yards from goal to take a free kick. But his effort nailed the corner of the crossbar and quickly sailed out of danger.

For much of the first half, the Crew attack was largely dormant. In fact, the visitors did not get their first shot of the frame until the 24th minute when a shot by Robbie Rogers from long range sailed about 20 feet over Sala and the FCD goal.   Head coach Schellas Hyndman made several changes to the starting 11 that played Kansas City to a 1-1 draw on the road last weekend. With starting holding mid Pablo Ricchetti out on suspension after two yellow cards against the Wizards, Hyndman plugged Marcelo Saragosa into his spot.   Then, Hyndman gave Guarda, who played for him collegiately at Southern Methodist, his first start at the attacking mid spot in place of fellow rookie Eric Avila.

Neither side made a change to begin the second half. All was relatively quiet until Gaven was active in the 52nd and once again, it was because of a cross from Schelotto. The Argentine assist man served his teammate a great ball and all that kept his header from the back of the net was a right-handed save by Sala.   In the 54th, McCarty delivered another great ball off a free kick. This time, Hesmer came off his line and got a hand on the ball, which fell near the far post. However, no FCD players arrived in time and the ball went over the end line for a corner.   One minute later, FCD right back Adrian Serioux hit a nice ball from the right flank that found Drew Moor inside the box. Moor's shot sailed high over the Columbus goal.

McCarty stirred things up again in the 60th when he fed Serioux on the right side, who promptly spotted Cooper open inside the penalty area. Hesmer made a fingertip save on his shot in heavy traffic. When the rebound popped free, Cunningham dashed to the far post but Hesmer quickly smothered the ball to end the threat.   Hyndman finally went to his bench in the 66th by bringing on Dominic Oduro for McCarty and in the 75th, Serioux left for Avila. Dallas's final change came in the 80th when Michael Dello-Russo came on for Rocha.   FCD got a great chance at salvaging some points when in the 85th, Cunningham was fouled just outside the box. Dello-Russo stepped up and took the free kick but it went right into the heart of the Columbus wall. 

In the 90th minute, the Hoops had two more solid chances. The first came when Hesmer came way off his line and FCD center back Aaron Pitchkolan attempted to lob the ball into the empty net before Marshall slid over to the right post to head the ball away.

Then, just seconds later, Avila took a short corner from the near flag that found Saragosa. His header skipped just inches from the right side of the net and just out of the reach of Pitchkolan, who was sliding near the post.   With tonight's defeat, FCD's record when scoring first falls to 5-1-4 on the season. Columbus, on the other hand, remained unbeaten when leading at the half this season, a mark that increased to 9-0-1 with their latest victory over FCD.   Columbus returns to the pitch when they host New England while Dallas's next action comes on Thursday night when Colorado comes to Frisco for an ESPN MLS Primetime Thursday contest.

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