FRISCO, TX. – FC Dallas returned to Frisco looking to remain undefeated in 2018. Philadelphia came in winless in four while FC Dallas looked to improve on offensive chances. Mother nature would make a mess of things, but Dallas would find a win behind some miraculous work from Jimmy Maurer and the defensive work on Saturday.
FC Dallas Ride Hot Streak, Handles Philadelphia 2-0
FC Dallas would look to ride the hot hand Saturday as they returned home to face a faltering Philly side. Dallas has played around with formation this season so far, and head coach Oscar Pareja would continue tinkering with the lineup. A 4-4-2 formation with Roland Lamah and Cristian Colmán welcomed Alejandro Bedoya and the Union for a Week 8 matchup. Dallas struggled in the midfield early on, but would find their way to the net in the 2nd half and onto victory to move up in the Western Conference.
Early Adjustments Cause Problems
FC Dallas came out with another interesting lineup, showing a two-striker front with Roland Lamah and Cristian Colmán. Lamah, normally a wing-type player, would look to play off of Colmán’s aerial ability in the attack. But the Union had lined up in a way to disrupt this attack. Early on, winger Santiago Mosquera, earning his first start with FC Dallas, quickly switched spots with Lamah and adjusted the 4-4-2 formation. Lamah looked more comfortable there while Santi did look more dangerous on the break in the attack.
Dallas Struggle but Find the Way
FC Dallas would hold serve on attacking chances throughout the match, especially in the first half. Dallas did struggle early on defensively in the midfield, but what was lacking at times quickly turned to counter-attack strength. Several times, Michael Barrios (or even Colmán or Mosquera) quickly found themselves on a breakaway. The Union defense was quick to recover and force the Dallas attack into an awkward attempt at goal. Union keeper Andre Blake made some spectacular saves throughout the match to keep his side alive.
FC Dallas brought on midfield maestro Mauro Diaz in the 61st minute and it quickly paid dividends. Dallas would earn a penalty in the 64th minute as Matt Hedges was pulled down as he tried to attack a corner kick in the box. Diaz would step up and smoothly place it to Blake’s left, and Dallas would take the 1-0 lead.
Striker Maximilliano Urruti would come on just five minutes later and double the lead soon thereafter. Roland Lamah deftly played a through ball to Maxi, who took a touch around Blake and finished calmly with a narrow angle shot away from goal. Dallas really looked the stronger side throughout and were glad to come away with three more points.
Jimmy Maurer Super Save
Before Dallas found the score sheet, Philadelphia had one of the best chances of the match. In the 58th minute, Borek Dockal whipped in a cross from the right side and found David Accam at the top of the six yard box. Accam hit a side volley on frame but Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer was on site to make a great reaction save with his right hand. The ball would pop out to C.J. Sapong inside the box, and he was there to tap it in. But somehow, Maurer threw up his left hand and parried Sapong’s effort wide of the frame. This was surely the turning point in the match, as everyone was shocked that Sapong’s effort did not go in.
The match could have ended with a much wider margin, but Andre Blake really kept his Union side in the match. Making a total of eight saves on the night, Blake kept his side in the match early and often, but his offense was stifled by a better defense.
FC Dallas will head north as New York FC will host them in Yankee Stadium next weekend. The New York side just felt their first loss of the season on Sunday and will look to bounce back as they remain at the top of the Eastern Conference table. Dallas will look to extend both their winning streak and NYCFC’s losing streak in a Sunday matchup worth a watch.
Philadelphia will head home to regroup and prepare to face D.C. United. Both sides will look to move up from bottom of the Eastern Conference and remain relevant in the early 2018 MLS season.