By JUSTIN FERGUSON
Saturday night’s clash between FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City had a little bit of everything: a penalty conversion, an own goal, a red card, a 90th-minute equalizer and a close chance for a stoppage time winner.
What the thrilling match did not have was a winner, and the two sides were forced to share honors with a 2-2 final score at FC Dallas Stadium. Andrew Jacobson and Walker Zimmerman both headed in very late goals to snatch a point from Sporting Kansas City, who were handicapped by a C.J. Sapong red card midway through the second half.
SKC, fresh off a three-week absence from league play, jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals on each side of the halftime break. In the midst of a first half that was dominated by close chances from the FCD offense, Aurelien Collin drew a penalty after Andrew Jacobson yanked him down on a set piece situation. Kei Kamara stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty to give the visitors a lead heading into the locker room.
The visitors scored off of another set piece situation in the second half, but a member of the home team was ultimately responsible for the SKC goal. Graham Zusi, back from his stint with the USMNT, sent a bouncing corner into the area that glanced off of FCD defender Je-Vaughn Watson and past Raul Fernandez.
SKC looked certain to grab a major road victory, but an ejection put them in a hole for the final 20+ minutes. During a stoppage in play, Sapong knocked a rolling ball that struck Jacobson, who was on the ground after drawing a foul. Referee Mark Geiger immediately sent Sapong off for the incident, and the man advantage allowed FC Dallas to go back on the offensive.
The hosts finally broke through in the 88th minute as Ramon Nunez, who was making his first appearance of the season, sent a pass in towards Jacobson in the box. Jacobson flicked a looping shot with the back of his head over Jimmy Nielsen to give FC Dallas life.
Two minutes later, FCD equalized with one of their trademark set pieces. David Ferriera’s corner kick found the head of defender Walker Zimmerman, and the young center back headed home the first goal of his career in dramatic fashion. With Zimmerman’s goal, FCD now have a league-leading 15 goals from set piece situations this season.
Dallas came close to a winner in the third minute of stoppage time as the returning Kenny Cooper had a shot from outside the box bounce just wide of Nielsen’s goal.
FC Dallas (8-3-5) now turn their attention to Wednesday’s home Open Cup quarterfinal with the red-hot Portland Timbers, who defeated FCD last Sunday. Sporting Kansas City (6-5-5), winless in their last four league matches, return to Sporting Park to face Columbus next Saturday.
Here are the match highlights: