FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas dominated interstate rival Houston Dynamo 5-1 Saturday in the final Texas Derby of the season.
Everything clicked for Dallas, from the team’s forward play to its defense, in a match with big playoff implications on the line. With the win, Dallas jumped back into the playoff picture, moving into the seventh spot in the Western Conference.
“This game had a lot of meaning,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “Whether it’s the derby, whether it’s the playoff push, home game — we were hungry to get a win. That helped our energy and our focus to perform. Guys stepped it up tonight. They embraced the pressure. That pressure is an opportunity for us to show our best. I thought they showed their qualities to deal with pressure and own it, and channel it with energy and with a win for our fans. That’s something we want to keep on embracing: Pressure. The more pressure, the more we want to respond.”
Forward Zdenek Ondrasek built off his first Major League Soccer goal with a brace, helping the FC Dallas offense explode against the Dynamo. The first goal came from work on the wing from fullback Ryan Hollingshead, who crossed in a ball on the byline. Ondrasek reached out, extended his foot and put the ball past goalkeeper Joe Willis to open up his account in the 56th minute.
Ondrasek added his second goal eight minutes later with an almost identical goal. Winger Dominique Badji beat his defender and again found Ondrasek, known as The Cobra, sliding in and beating Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa.
“I’m so happy,” Ondrasek said. “I’m so happy I could help the team. It was not my best game, but I’m so happy with my two goals. Unfortunately, I missed the easiest goal. I was maybe scared of the hat trick, but at the end it doesn’t matter now. It would matter if it was 0-0, but of course I have to score more and more goals and I know we are on a good wave. The hard work pays off today, so we have to keep it going.”
After a difficult start to the 2019 campaign, Ondrasek has now scored three goals in two matches, providing a No. 9 the team craved for all season.
“What can I say? Cobra two goals,” Gonzalez said. “He was a player that was not getting opportunities frequently at the beginning of the season, even midseason, but he always had respect for the team and worked and adapted. Any minute he’s been getting recently has been minutes that he has earned. He’s taking advantage of this moment and he’s a good reference in the box and he’s in line with a lot of the things that we are trying to do, with or without the ball. A great night for him to help this team.”
The scoring started in the first half for FC Dallas with a goal from Badji.
Badji was dragged down by defender Jose Bizama and referee Armando Villarreal pointed to the spot for a penalty, allowing defender and captain Reto Ziegler to step up and bag the penalty in the 24th minute.
Midfielder Jesus Ferreira showed a moment of brilliance in the 29th minute, receiving a ball from Ondrasek at midfield and beating defenders to weave his way past defender Aljaz Struna and finish the solo effort for a 2-0 Dallas lead in the first half.
“There’s a lot of people talking about our attack, that we haven’t scored many, but we’re showing that we’re improving,” Ferreira said. “I said it before, we had improvements during training. We’re just doing that and showing that in the game.”
Houston added a consolation goal in the 80th minute, when Memo Rodriguez found himself in space and put it past Jesse Gonzalez to pull it to 4-1.
During stoppage time, Michael Barrios added the exclamation point off a scramble in the box. The ball fell to Barrios, who went one-on-one with Willis and won to cap off the five-goal night.