FC Dallas had chances to score an away goal and take the lead in its first competitive game of the year, but a familiar inability to put the ball into the back of the net ultimately proved costly.
FC Dallas started 2018 on the wrong foot, falling, 1-0, to Panamanian outfit Tauro FC in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 series on Wednesday. Jose Tamburelli scored the winner at Estadio Rommel Fernandez from point-blank range in the 55th minute, as he pounced on a headed shot that squirted through Jesse Gonzalez’s hands and bundled the ball over the goal line.
Dallas had the clearer scoring opportunities during the opening stanza, but could not capitalize on them. Santiago Mosquera had a curled effort to the top far corner swatted away in the 42nd minute by Tauro goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane, who also denied Maximiliano Urruti seconds later on a chance from seven yards out.
FC Dallas also came close to netting in the 22nd minute when defender Gustavo Chara deflected a low cross towards his own goal and off the far post. Tauro, however, kept the cleansheet and found a winner to take the series lead ahead of the decisive match on Feb. 28 at Toyota Stadium.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jose Tamburelli may have pushed home the winner in the second half, but it was Tauro FC goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane who was the player that allowed the club to be in a position to prevail. McFarlane denied FC Dallas on a pair of good looks late in the first half, thwarting both Santiago Mosquera and Maximiliano Urruti en route to posting the shutout victory.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Getting to halftime on even terms was going to be a real positive for Tauro given how the first 45 minutes unfolded, so FC Dallas needed a goal to ensure that the momentum stayed in its favor. Unfortunately for Dallas, Maximiliano Urruti was not clinical enough to fire home a shot in the 43rd minute despite being open and in close. Unscathed, Tauro made it to the break and regrouped to deliver an improved second-half showing that included a game-winning tally.
MATCH TO FORGET
For the second straight night in CONCACAF Champions League play, a goalkeeping blunder cost an MLS side. Jesse Gonzalez allowed a savable header from Edwin Aguilar to slip through his hands, not even getting enough on the effort to direct it away from goal. The result of that was a loose ball that trickled in front of the goal line, and the alert Tamburelli could not miss from there.