We were expecting a lot of good hard-nosed football down at Pizza Hut Park. To be fair we weren’t disappointed as both sides were tough and gave plenty of action to the supporters in the Dallas area. From the start of the opening whistle both side were attacking and making fantastic plays. But it would be FC Dallas that gets on the score sheet first in the 24th minute.
It was a good run from FC Dallas as Heath Pearce took the ball along the far side of the area. A good cross that went into the middle of the field and pulled Bouna Coundoul away from the far post as Eric Alexander headed the ball towards Milton Rodriguez who had an open net and headed his shot in for the early lead. But a terrible decision by Brek Shea would send his team down a man.
Red Bulls with Possession and attacking the Dallas net on the near side. Shea ran at Dane Richards and stole the ball, but lost it. When Chris Albright retrieved it Shea took a reckless challenge and chopped him down. Two legged scissors challenge and referee Hilario Grajeda had no choice but to show the red card and send Shea off in the 29th minute. FC Dallas was down to ten men the rest of the match.
Red Bulls peppered Kevin Hartman all first half and got stopped, till first half stoppage time as the equalizer finally came. In the third minute of stoppage time a great ball from Roy Miller finds Joel Lindpere attacking the end line and a solid cross finds Mehdi Ballouchy who scores his first goal as a member of the Red Bulls. Great set up and a fantastic finish puts RBNY level at the half.
But this FC Dallas side was never quitting at all. They kept on attacking or found a way on the counter attack even while down a man and it was Eric Alexander who set up a goal, wanted one of his own. In the 68th minute Alexander would beat all four defenders and had a free path to the goal & slots it inside the near post to regain the lead, but a terrible mistake would get New York leveled again.
Late in the second half Lindpere has the ball again and looking at his options on the near side of the field. He saw Juan Pablo Angel making a run towards goal and he crossed a solid ball, but instead of Angel converting the second equalizer it was Jair Bentiez who scores the own goal in the 82nd minute. After a hard fought match from both sides some would say a two all draw would be fitting, but sadly it came with a heavy price.
FC Dallas came away with some nasty injuries and hopefully it won’t cost them with their remaining matches and heading into the playoffs. FC Dallas Captain Daniel Hernandez pulled a hamstring injury as he tried to make a turn and was subbed out in the 28th minute. Then something silly happened and you never thought it would come from one of the most honorable men in the game today.