Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas rallies late to earn draw with DC United

Published 9/14/2008 5:35:17 AM by staff from dallas

Once again, FC Dallas scored first and squandered a lead Saturday night, but fought back gallantly to earn a well deserved 2-2 draw with DC United at RFK Stadium.   The Hoops are now winless in their last five regular season matches (0-3-2), scoring first in four of the five contests. They are also winless in their last six matches against DC United (0-2-4) and have not won at RFK Stadium since a 2-0 result on May 28, 2005.

Both teams repeatedly produced uptempo, penetrating attacking sequences despite the oppressively hot and muggy conditions in Washington.   Kenny Cooper opened the scoring in the ninth minute, with goals by United's Jaime Moreno and Santino Quranta sandwiched between Cooper's early strike and Andre Rocha's equalizer in the 79th minute.  After a Quavas Kirk blast from the top right corner of the box in the third minute, the Hoops immediately responded with a Rocha shot that skittered wide left. Rocha got solid leather on the shot after collecting the bouncing ball in a crowd but tumbled to the turf in pain when his ankle met Gonzalo Martinez's leg on his follow through.

Jeff Cunningham foiled a United clear wide at the center line for Dallas, but his shot after an unimpeded run into the penalty area was deflected away by a sliding Marc Burch in the eighth minute.   Cunningham provided the guile that freed Cooper a minute later to give the Hoops a 1-0 lead. After Rocha's lengthy ball on the ground through the midfield from the right side, Cunningham's subtle flick opened the lane for Cooper, who slipped away from Bryan Namoff's mark to bury a left footed shot from 16 yards out into the upper left hand corner.

The goal jumped Cooper ahead of Los Angeles' Edson Buddle into second place on the scoring table. Of his 14 goals this season, 11 have either equalized or given the Hoops the lead.   United didn't go laying down however, creating a quality opportunity in the 18th minute after some crafty footwork from Jaime Moreno. After collecting a deflected ball in traffic in the left channel, the Bolivian playmaker cut inside along the top of the penalty area before floating a deft chip to the far post aimed at Santino Quaranta whose reaching right-footed shot sailed high and wide.

United had very little response to the fleet-footed Cunningham, who nearly extended the Hoops' lead in the 20th minute. Cunningham got separation from Devon McTavish in the penalty area, but his shot to the far post was snared out of the air by United goalkeeper Louis Crayton.   Quaranta nearly drew United even in the next minute, but his shot in full stride from the top of the penalty area didn't quite have enough bend to sneak into the top left corner, instead grazing the post. Quaranta made a deep run from the midfield to connect with a short ball from Ivan Guerrero from the left flank.

The home side did draw even in the 26th minute when Moreno drifted near the penalty area to finish United newcomer Thabiso Khumalo's chip cross from the right side to make the score 1-1.  United acquired the South African Khumalo on loan from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL's Second Division, officially completing the deal on Friday.   Rocha found a huge gap between Namoff and Burch in the 43nd minute, playing a perfect ball through to Cooper in the right channel, but the big striker's shot went just wide of the near post.

Rocha took a blast of his own from 35 yards out less than a minute later, but Crayton was equal to the task, extending hard to his right to knock the shot away.   United stepped up the tempo at the onset of the second stanza, garnering an immediate opportunity with some simple but nifty play down the left flank. Second half substitute Fred nearly completed the sequence that started deep in United's third but his close range shot was deflected away near the six-yard box. Khumalo collected the ball in the center of the park, angling toward the left side line and quickly flicking the ball behind Michael Dello-Russo down the right flank to Guerrero, whose expeditious run culminated with a dangerous ball into the box.

Dello-Russo, a Washington area native, came on for Adrian Serioux in the 36th minute. Dallas boss Schellas Hyndman was forced to remove Cooper in the 57th minute with a left ankle sprain in favor of Dominic Oduro.   A small altercation occurred in the 62nd minute when Rocha collided with Crayton in pursuit of a sneaky ball through by Cunningham. The Brazilian fell on the left hip of Crayton in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the sliding goalkeeper, earning a yellow card in the process.   Cunningham continued to be the most consistent threat of the night for the Hoops, pounding a shot at Crayton after another great ball from Rocha in the 68th minute.

Poor marking led to United's go-ahead goal in the 69th minute when Quaranta wandered alone in the penalty area, latching on to Guerrero's floating ball from the left touch line with a strong full volley to make the score 2-1.   The Hoops didn't go away quietly however, as Guarda turned a United defender in traffic forcing a great reflex diving save by Crayton from 10-yards out.   The pressure paid off for Dallas when Cunningham combined with Eric Avila on some set up work for Rocha, and the Brazilian delivered the equalizer in the 79th minute. With Avila delivering the final ball from inside the penalty area from the left side, Rocha got into open space on the far side hitting a first time shot into the net vacated by Crayton, who came off his line in anticipation of the pass that was clearly out of his reach.

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