Photo by Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Just days after Landon Donovan’s international send-off, FC Dallas spoiled the LA Galaxy’s party while ensuring their own would continue into the postseason.
FC Dallas clinched a spot in the postseason Sunday at Toyota Stadium with a 2-1 victory over the Galaxy, who will now head into the start of their two-part series with the Seattle Sounders level as co-Western Conference leaders.
It was the Galaxy that opened Sunday’s scoring through Stefan Ishizaki, who chipped FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz in the 21st minute.
After being played through by Alan Gordon, Galaxy forward Gyassi Zardes ran towards the right corner before crossing into the center of the box. The ensuing FC Dallas clearance was headed right to Ishizaki, who took a touch past a pair of defenders before looping the ball up and over Seitz to give the Galaxy the 1-0 lead.
The Galaxy lead remained until shortly after halftime, when FC Dallas forward David Texeira struck for an FC Dallas equalizer.
Texeira’s finish came as a result of an Andres Escobar through ball, as the Colombian forward threaded the ball through the Galaxy backline to put Texeira in all alone. The Uruguayan finished past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo with his first touch to level the scores.
The visitors looked to be well on their way to earning a share of the points until substitute Dan Gargan went down with an injury in the 86th minute. With Gargan sidelined and the Galaxy down a man, FC Dallas took full advantage via a Fabian Castillo goal that saw the hosts punch their ticket to the postseason.
Castillo’s finish came via a rebound, as Escobar’s original shot was parried back into play by Penedo. Castillo, lurking in the center of the box, headed the ball home into the wide open net, sending Toyota Stadium into a frenzy as the team clinched playoff soccer.
With the win, FC Dallas pick up their 51st point of the season, which puts the club just one point behind Real Salt Lake for the crucial third place position. FC Dallas returns next weekend against the lowly Colorado Rapids, while the LA Galaxy kickoff their Supporters’ Shield series against the Sounders Sunday.
Here are the match highlights: