FRISCO, Texas— FC Dallas extended its unbeaten run to eight matches after a 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact Saturday night.
An early own goal by Montreal and a Mauro Diaz penalty secured the win for Dallas, which looked to enter the two-week World Cup break on a positive note.
“Happy to get three points,” FCD head coach Oscar Pareja said. “[It’s] important at home. The last two weeks, with a lot of games and traveling…being able to advance in the cup, being able to get six points away and get our points at home as well, I think it’s remarkable for the players. We can sit here and dissect the game and talk about it, but I need to start with congratulating the group of players who have done a remarkable work. They deserve the points today and they keep moving forward.”
Dallas controlled the match from the early stages. In the 5th minute, off of a header from a Diaz free kick, Rudy Camacho headed the ball away and into Impact forward Matteo Mancosu’s back. The ball ended up past Evan Busch to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. The assistant referee called back the goal due to what he said was an offside play, but a video review reversed the call and awarded Dallas the goal.
Dallas scored another early goal off a quick transition from defense to offense. Daniel Lovitz took a shot from in the box and forced Jesse Gonzalez to make a tough save. With a quick distribution, Dallas was back on the attack and Roland Lamah found Urruti. Urruti attempted to turn but was clipped by Camacho. Ref Nima Saghafi pointed to the spot in the 16th minute.
Diaz stepped up and put the ball past Busch to make it 2-0 for Dallas.
Jun 9, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas forward Roland Lamah (20) and midfielder Carlos Gruezo (7) celebrate after an own goal by the Montreal Impact during the first half at Pizza Hut Park. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
“It’s difficult,” Mancosu said. “FC Dallas is in the first position in the West. They had two goals in less than 20 minutes. It’s hard but we get to come back with the occasion with something because they played really good, unfortunately, we lost the game though.”
The Impact have allowed 31 goals, a league high, and currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference table with 12 points. Prior to the team’s defeat of Houston last weekend, the Impact had dropped four in a row, all against teams not in playoff position.
“We played quite a good game against a very good team,” Impact coach Remi Garde said. “If you look at the table, we are far away from this team — and if you look at the game we were not so far away.
“There is a lot of disappointment and frustration in the locker room from my players and from me. We deserved at least to score a goal—we touched, twice, the bar and the post. We were quite unlucky—we conceded two goals on set pieces. They had opportunities and chances in the second half, but we tried to push and come back on and score and we opened a little bit more spaces. In the end, we lost but I think build on that game for us.”
Carlos Gruezo almost gave up an own goal playing out of the back. Gruezo played it back to Gonzalez, who then was forced to slice the ball out of bounds for a Montreal corner.
For Dallas, the team is undefeated at home after nine matches. The team is now converting home matches into wins, something that was a struggle in the early parts of the season.
“Taking all the points at home is something we need to do more of,” Dallas captain Matt Hedges said. “We’ve been getting good results on the road but our home form has not been as great, but getting those four wins in a row is great for our confidence.”
It was a difficult week for Dallas, with pressure from San Antonio and Montreal causing issues in playing from the back. However, after Dallas settled into the match, the passing became focused and fewer turnovers were given as a result.
“I thought we played a great game,” Dallas right back Reggie Cannon said. “I think the first half, we came out really strong. But as the half died down, I think so did we. Oscar was telling us, ‘That’s not us. We’re the team that keeps pushing, we’re the team that keeps grinding. If they want to come slow, we gotta overthrow that level. That’s FC Dallas.’
“Oscar really pushed us in the second half to keep going and for the backline to be strong and trust our forwards to put the ball in the back of the net, and they did. I think the team overall was getting into that rhythm.”
Cannon conceded postmatch that fatigue set in for him. Cannon played 90 minutes in the 1-0 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory over San Antonio FC.
“It’s all part of the job,” Cannon said with a laugh. “Most of the starters got days off and rest, but I’m 19 and I don’t really get that luxury. I just have to keep going. I can’t lie and say I’m not tired, but I know these games are an opportunity and you never know who’s watching and what’s going to happen in games. I’m really grateful to be playing in these games.”
Montreal almost scored a goal to get back into the match deep in the stages of stoppage time. Mancosu got through on goal, past Hedges and had an effort that struck the post in the 5th minute of stoppage time.
Dallas will not take the next week off, even with the MLS World Cup break. Instead, the team will travel to take on Sporting KC in a Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup match Saturday. Montreal will return home to play Orlando City in a midweek clash Wednesday.