Sep 1, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera (11) fights to control the ball against Houston Dynamo defender Andrew Wenger (11) at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
FRISCO, Texas– El Capitan is returning to Dallas. The replica 18th-century cannon awarded to the winner of Major League Soccer’s Texas Derby will get to settle in until next year since FC Dallas won the final installment of the 2018 series against the Houston Dynamo 4-2.
Santiago Mosquera recorded a brace in the victory as Dallas bounced back from its midweek 4-3 defeat at the hands of San Jose.
“Scoring three goals in San Jose was not easy, or any game when you’re playing away,” FCD coach Óscar Pareja said. “We came with the frustration of not being stable on defense … We would like to keep a clean sheet for us and provide the team that solidness in the back. We need to work on that, but seeing the players, the forwards scoring, that’s something we’ve been asking for the whole year. We needed forwards to score. They did a great job today.”
The quick turnaround was tough with the loss still in the player’s minds. The defensive intensity was established early in the match with referee Kevin Stott allowing physical play.
“We had a game Wednesday,” FCD defender Marquinhos Pedroso said. “We come back and we can’t rest good because our flight was at 6 or 7 in the morning. You can’t sleep, and you know you have to recover in just two days to play in one game like this in 35 degrees (Celsius). They want to win, too, like us. … It was a hard game, but very proud of my team. Everybody ran a lot. We can rest good, and we gave everything.”
Mosquera created two goals in quick succession in the second half. His first goal came off pressuring Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis and left back Andrew Wenger. Willis attempted to scoop the ball but spilled it to the feet of Mosquera, who shot it from outside the box. The ball rolled in, giving Dallas a quick start to the second half in the 48th minute.
The second goal came off combination play with Victor Ulloa, who laid off the ball to Mosquera outside the box. Mosquera took a touch inside and struck the ball, hitting the inside of the post before going in to make it 4-1 Dallas in the 52nd minute.
“I think in San Jose we lost concentration on key moments. We can say we were unlucky, but at the same time it was defensive errors — and we did not want to commit them tonight,” Ulloa said. “… Even though we allowed two goals, we’re not happy about that, but happy for the victory overall and happy to get a little break here so we can forget a little bit about soccer and relax.”
Mosquera’s play has added to an already flowing FC Dallas attack. Coming off his hamstring injury, he has scored in two consecutive matches, impacting the second half in both the San Jose and Houston competitions.
“First, the league has been challenging for him,” Pareja said. “Understanding the rhythm and using all that ability he has on behalf of the group — he has all these tools to provide to the team and within the game. We’re trying to capture that so we can use it well in the game.”
Dallas started off the scoring early with a goal in the 10th minute, courtesy of red-hot Michael Barrios. After making an off-ball run, Barrios found himself in space after a ball from Maxi Urruti. Barrios dribbled past the defense and chipped it over Joe Willis to make it 1-0.
After the two goals from Mosquera, Houston bounced back through Mauro Manotas in the 53rd minute. Boniek Garcia forced a turnover on Dominique Badji in the midfield. Manotas received the ball, turned and let a shot rip that beat FCD keeper Jesse Gonzalez, giving Houston its first goal of the match.
Dallas countered with a goal of its own, scoring off a penalty drawn by Urruti, who was taken down by Garcia in the box. FCD centerback Reto Ziegler stepped up and put the penalty in the back of the net, increasing the lead to 4-1.
Houston responded with a penalty of its own. Former FC Dallas player Arturo Alvarez was tripped by Ulloa. Dynamo forward Alberth Elis scored the ensuing penalty, cutting the lead to 4-2, but the Dynamo couldn’t get any closer.
Dallas will have a week off for the international break before playing at home against the Columbus Crew on September 15. The Dynamo will also have a break before playing the Portland Timbers at home on September 15.