FC Dallas could have clinched a playoff berth with a win on Saturday night, but the Western Conference powerhouse saw their push for the postseason delayed largely due to the play of Tim Howard.
It took just one goal to topple FC Dallas on Saturday night, as Dominique Badji provided a second half finish to lead the Colorado Rapids to a 1-0 win at Toyota Stadium. The loss was FC Dallas’ first home defeat of the season, although Oscar Pareja’s side remains atop the league table with 51 points, five ahead of Saturday’s opponents.
Badji’s finish came in the 52nd minute via an impressive solo run. After receiving the ball on a throw-in, Badji darted past his defender and into space in the center of the field. The forward then unleashed a low driven shot from 20 yards out, besting Chris Seitz for what proved to be the game’s lone finish.
While Badji provided the necessary goal, Howard was just as vital with his ability to prevent them. The U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper made seven saves on the day, including two coming on close-range headers from Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges. On the other end, Seitz did not make a save, as Badji’s shot was the Rapids’ lone effort on target as FC Dallas outshot the opposition, 17-6.
To their credit, though, FC Dallas opted to rest several key players as the club prepares for next week’s U.S. Open Cup final, while the Rapids had just four players on the bench. Mauro Diaz entered the fray as a 55th minute substitute, while Michael Barrios and Mauro Rosales also helped FC Dallas make what turned out to be an unsuccessful second half push.
Following the win, the Rapids sit second in the West with two games in hand ahead of next weekend’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes, while FC Dallas now turns to Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup finale.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Tim Howard was far and away the best player on the field, and his seven saves were vital for a Rapids team that is right back in the Spporters’ Shield race.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Dominique Badji’s goal was a moment of brilliance, as the forward darted through the defense before picking out a corner for the eventual game-winner.
MATCH TO FORGET
FC Dallas’ forwards, Maxi Urutti and Tesho Akindele, just couldn’t fine their rhythm on Saturday night, as both failed to muster a concrete chance against a stout Rapids defense.