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FC Dallas knocks off expansion side FC Cincinnati 3-1

FC Dallas raced out to a 3-0 lead en route to a second consecutive win which moved them up to third in the Western Conference

FRISCO, Tx. — FC Dallas knocked off expansion side FC Cincinnati 3-1 in the first-ever meeting between the two sides Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.

Dallas extended its unbeaten streak to three with another high goal-scoring affair. In its last three home matches, FCD has scored 13 goals, including two five-goal outbursts and another strong performance tonight. The win puts Dallas on 43 points, a number that keeps them competitive for the playoff hunt.

“I believe it’s the hard work in the training,” forward Zdenek Ondrasek said. “I believe it’s the extra work in the training that we had more finishing, we had more focus for the last part of the play. I believe we go to the box more in numbers and we’ve scored more goals.”

FC Dallas continued its hot goal-scoring streak as of late as Michael Barrios, Ondrasek, and Ryan Hollingshead added to the scoresheet in a dominant display.

Hollingshead scored the first goal in the 12th minute. A run into the middle of the park found Hollingshead on the receiving end of an Ondrasek pass, and Hollingshead made no mistake, bending the effort past keeper Przemyslaw Tyton to make it 1-0. It made for Hollingshead’s sixth goal of the season and that’s not by accident. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez spoke about giving Hollingshead more freedom in the final third this season.

“We encourage him being unpredictable, dynamic in the attacking half,” Gonzalez said. “Coming inside, coming outside. Today, he got a good combination inside and had a beautiful right foot curling shot that beat the keeper. We encourage that and he rewarded himself by going forward.”

Forward Jesus Ferreira continued his developing performances in the middle with an assist in the 49th minute. Ferreira found Barrios making a run on the right side, splitting the defense and allowing Barrios to be free, putting a ball past Tyton and give FC Dallas a 2-0 lead. Barrios has been known as an assist man this season, but made the most of his positioning for his third goal on the season.

“I knew that [Barrios] is fast,” Ferreira said. “He will beat anybody with speed and I got the ball and I saw that there was enough space for him to run. I just had confidence in him that I just had to get him the ball and he will do his thing.”

It was Ferreira’s first assist in the midfield position since he made the switch on August 10 in a 5-3 win over Minnesota United. After accumulating minutes in the middle, Ferreira is beginning to feel comfortable, something Gonzalez has noted watching him play.

“Jesus is very calm on the ball,” Gonzalez said. “He is a 360-degree player. When he receives the ball, he can kill it and rotate his body and almost take a peripheral of the field. He can connect short…I think he’s improved on his last pass. I think he’s really developing that last pass and we’re encouraging him to take that risk and look for it and find that sweet spot for him to make those passes. We don’t want to force it and lose it all the time, but he’s very good at connecting and finding those short passes and combos. Now, we want him to improve his final pass. He was able to do that in a beautiful ball tonight.”

Aug 31, 2019; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead (12) celebrates a goal during the first half against the FC Cincinnati at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Ondrasek topped off the scoring for Dallas in the 52nd minute with another opportunity created by Barrios, who played a ball into the box, finding the leg of Ondrasek. Tyton made a strong save, but could not parry the shot out of danger and ‘The Cobra’ finished off the opportunity, opening up a 3-0 lead.

“When I came here, I said I’m not Ronaldo or Messi, I want to fight for the team,” Ondrasek said. “I’m trying to do my best, fight for the guys, and it works now. I’m happy with that. For me, it’s not important if I get assist or goals. I want to win the games and I’m so happy the guys pass me the ball and I try to pass, too. I don’t think I had many assists in my career but okay. I’m happy to pass the balls for the guys because I know they will pass it to me back. It doesn’t matter who scores, we need points and got them and we have to prepare for the rest of the season.”

FC Cincinnati’s Emmanuel Ledesma pulled a late consolation goal off a penalty kick, drawn by Roland Lamah after he was tripped by defender Reggie Cannon in the 63rd minute. 

FC Dallas will have a bye this upcoming weekend before traveling to Bridgeview to take on the Chicago Fire on Sept. 14. FC Cincinnati will next travel to Montreal to face the Impact on Sept. 7.

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