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FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids play to 1-1 draw

Apr 7, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas goalie Jimmy Maurer (14) makes a save against Colorado Rapids Joe Mason (10) in the first half at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas (1-0-3) rescued a 1-1 home draw against the Colorado Rapids (1-2-1) in front of an announced crowd of 13,147.

Paraguayan forward Cristian Colmán scored the game-tying goal for FCD off a header, beating a flat-footed Tim Howard in the 89th minute. Mauro Diaz played a ball from deep, finding Colmán’s head as he secured an MLS goal for the first time since scoring a brace against Montreal on July 22 last year.

“The truth is, it was a goal that we were working on throughout the week, and thank God that the opportunity was presented,” Colmán said. “The moment was just right when Mauro shot the ball, and I was able to score.”

“I think [Colmán] is great,” FC Dallas coach Óscar Pareja said. “I think it’s great to see Cristian come in on the field and getting that goal for us. We needed it. It just made me think about a bunch of things because we need someone to score and Cristian came up and scored.”

LISTEN: Óscar Pareja post-game press conference

Dallas looked down and dusted much of the match. Colorado invited pressure most of the game, allowing FC Dallas multiple opportunities early on.

“I liked the way we played today,” Pareja said. “We can have that bitterness of not getting the points at home, which is important obviously. But the way we played today was remarkable. I liked it a lot.”

Rapids coach Anthony Hudson was also pleased with the performance of his side on the road, citing the absence of players in the lineup as a challenge the team had to overcome.

“To come to a place like this — [FC Dallas] is a team that’s been together a long time and have some real strong players, especially in attack,” Hudson said.  “We’re a new team. We were missing many players tonight through injury, players that haven’t played yet stepping in for the first time, we’ve changed our tactical approach which the players have put in a great performance to implement that, so we’re still building.It’s a huge point. We’re unbeaten in three games now, and should be unbeaten altogether. We’re pleased.”

Michael Barrios got free in the 19th minute and found an open Diaz in the box. Diaz fluffed the effort, putting the shot straight at Howard and making the American goalkeeper’s life very easy with a comfortable save.

 

Anton Nedyalkov looked like he was going to open up his scoring account for FC Dallas after beating defender Kip Colvey on the left wing. The ball took a bobble and Nedyalkov hit on the half-volley, but Howard again grabbed the shot out of the air to keep the score level at zero.

The Rapids almost grabbed the first goal off a Dominique Badji effort, before it was parried away by Jimmy Maurer. Maurer would then pounce on the ball and prevent Joe Mason from opening up the scoring in the 25th minute.

“It was a little bit of a scramble in the box,” Maurer said. “I think it was off a tackle and the ball just sprung free to Badji and he was able to take a touch inside on his left. I got caught leaning a little bit but I was able to get back and get a hand on it and then scramble and dive on it before Mason got there. It was one of those plays where you do what you can to keep it out and it worked out.”

Mason and Badji connected on a goal off a Matt Hedges turnover in the 62nd minute. Badji outmuscled Hedges before finding Mason, who put it past Maurer. It was against the run of play but in Colorado’s gameplan, which looked to hit Dallas on the counter.

“That play is something we’ve worked on in training and it’s not come off too many times in the actual game, but today we managed to get a goal out of it,” Mason said.

Colorado finished second to last in MLS last season and sacked head coach Pablo Mastroeni mid-season. Hudson believes his team has been underrated going into matches and has confidence that his team is better than many believe.

“It’s important because leading into this game, and probably most games we’ve played, most people seem to write our team off,” Hudson said. “I think all of the lead up to this game was the same, it was all about how many Dallas were going to score and all about Dallas. What we’re quietly doing is show we’re a good team, and tonight we put in a very strong performance, which no one expected. Certainly everyone from Dallas. The fact that we’re in the dressing room gutted means that we’ve done well and we think we should have gotten more out of the game. but it is a massive point on the road.”

Dallas almost found the equalizer later on with a nice dribble before playing the ball across the box. The ball went across the face of goal and out of play, not connecting on anyone’s feet.

Howard spilled a Jacori Hayes shot and was forced to make a sweeping kick of the ball, knocking it out of play in the 81st minute.

It’s the first road point for the Rapids this season, as they fell in their only other road game against New England 2-1.

“It’s a process,” defender Axel Sjoberg said. “We’re trying to build into the season. I think today was another gritty performance, a lot of defensive hard work. But at this point in the season, it’s a very valuable road point.”

FC Dallas will go away for their first road game against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium April 14. The Rapids will play next that day, taking on Toronto FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

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