Aug 4, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; San Jose Earthquakes defender Shea Salinas (6) defends against FC Dallas forward Michael Barrios (21) in the first half at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
FRISCO, Texas — Western Conference leader FC Dallas was shocked at home Saturday night, getting beat 3-1 by the San Jose Earthquakes.
It was supposed to be a night for FC Dallas to draw three points closer to Atlanta United in the Supporters’ Shield race. Instead, the team suffered its first home loss of the 2018 MLS season.
“Today, the game just taught us a big lesson,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said. “It’s a day-by-day thing, and today, we did not play well. But I have to recognize always, that the effort of our players is there. … The players put everything in. [San Jose] played better the whole 90 minutes.”
Dallas entered the night on a high off a positive performance against No. 2 in the West Sporting Kansas City, only to sink against a team at the very bottom of the table.
“I’m sure we’re going to bounce back,” FCD center back Reto Ziegler said. “I don’t want to say that it is good we lost, but sometimes — you have to understand that we need to work more. We won in Kansas, and maybe in our heads we thought we were better than we actually are. Everybody needs to work again, and I’m sure we’ll bounce back. We have the personality and the quality to bounce back.”
Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili, who had four goals coming into the match, recorded a brace to give San Jose its first win over a team not named Minnesota United in 308 days.
“It was nice to break through, finally,” San Jose coach Mikael Stahre said. “We haven’t won for 80 days or something like that, so it’s really important to win — especially against a top team like Dallas, here in these weather conditions. I’m really happy with the performance. We came here with lots of energy and ambition to play a good game and bring one or three points back to San Jose. I think we handled it quite well. We stayed back a little bit, but still really compact and aggressive. They had some really big chances. In general, I think we deserved to win.”
The first Vako’s two goals came on a long ball in the 19th minute. FCD goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez raced out to get the ball, only to see Vako touch it first and evade his slide tackle before putting it in the net.
Dallas equalized quickly in the 23rd minute. Reggie Cannon intercepted the ball in San Jose’s offensive third and beat a defender before finding Michael Barrios making a run on the wing. Barrios squared it across goal to find Roland Lamah waiting for his team-leading eighth goal on the season.
It was a quick response by Dallas, and one that almost turned the momentum of the match. Instead, Dallas failed to capitalize on opportunity after opportunity before watching San Jose’s Jahmir Hyka score off an Anibal Godoy long ball. Hyka beat Gonzalez and the ball squirmed by the keeper to make it 2-1 in the 47th minute.
“We knew that they have very fast players, and if we lose the ball they were going to counter so we tried to avoid that,” Hyka said. “They didn’t have that many counters today, so that is one thing we did well. They had a lot of chances, but luck was on our side this time.”
San Jose ended the match with 17 shots, eight on target, but Dallas players believed the bulk of the opportunities belonged to them.
“I don’t think San Jose was better than a lot of teams we have played, we were just not at the level we usually play,” Ziegler said. “They have good weapons. They were waiting and playing the counter. Even if it was not our best game, we still had chances to score. I don’t think we deserved to win but a draw was possible tonight.”
Said FCD defender Marquinhos Pedroso: “We had a lot of chances and clear chances, like five or six clear. Maybe not so good, but maybe we can score. I think they just had three shots in the goal and they score. …If you see the result after the game, you’ll see the result: 3-1, San Jose punched the guys. If you see the chances, in the highlights and the game, we could have 10 goals. We tried. We fight. Unfortunately, we can’t win every game.”
Tesho Akindele thought he had the equalizer on a header near the net in the 52nd minute. His effort forced a loose save from Andrew Tarbell, who fumbled the ball onto Barrios’ feet. Barrios thought he had a goal, but Tarbell rushed to make a diving save and keep the score 2-1 in San Jose’s favor.
FC Dallas again thought it had a goal when Cristian Colman was found wide open on the back post off a free kick. Colman went up for a header but got minimal contact and the ball went harmlessly wide for a goal kick in the 79th minute.
“We’re happy with the win,” Tarbell said. “We came in and fought hard. The team did really well. We dominated, had quite a few chances and put them away so we’re happy.”
Supersub Chris Wondolowski helped seal the match for the Earthquakes, their third win of the season. He beat Jacori Hayes and the FCD defense before finding Vako in the box, who had an easy tap in to make it 3-1.
FC Dallas will next travel to Seattle Aug. 12. San Jose will travel to Colorado on Saturday.