FC Dallas Overcomes Austin FC on the Road
With Austin FC down a man, FC Dallas took an already strong performance into overdrive, grabbing a go ahead goal from Jesus Ferreira to grab three crucial points on the road.
Here is what FC Dallas head coach Nico Estevez said about his team’s performance: “We played amazing today.”
Indeed, after Austin FC player Rodney Redes earned his second yellow early in the second half, FC Dallas took a solid effort into overdrive, dominating with attack after attack against a less than stellar Austin team.
With 14 shots and 20 crosses, Dallas looked good for a big time away win.
The effort truly began in the first half. After the game, Nico talked about how the team planned to play Austin, especially after the disappointment in the Open Cup earlier in the week. While Austin FC may not be as in strong form as they were last year, they are still a dangerous team. FC Dallas was up to counter that plan and prevent Austin from getting into any sort of rhythm tonight.
“On Friday morning, I sat with some of the players - this is the plan. If we do this, we will minimize Austin’s attacks. You need one of the players to sacrifice so that this works. Lletget was willing to do it,” Nico said to the media. “And then you saw how he worked today, how he battled today, how he helped the team defensively. This is what leaders do.”
Nico admitted that the team is continuing to improve and build on their identity.
“In the attack, we should have scored 2-3 goals. We are coming from a different result against Nashville. We were disappointed about our performance and result. The way we responded today, the players deserve a lot credit,” Nico smiled. “We are on the way to build what we want this year. Sometimes, it takes longer. It is never easy.”
Jesus Ferreira was able to break the deadlock in the 90th minute with a counter-attack style run in between tired Austin defenders via a stellar pass from Tsiki Ntsabeleng. It had to feel good, which is likely why Jesus took off his shirt in front of the hostile crowd at Q2 Stadium. He earned a yellow card for that excessive celebration, but after struggling midweek, give the man his moment.
“Really really happy with Jesus’ performance. This is what we should expect from him. He is growing in his leadership as that kind of player. He has to show by example, and he did today,” Nico said.
This result also puts a little sour taste behind the team after losing a playoff match at the end of last season in Austin.
The good news is that Alan Velasco came back into the starting lineup after missing a few games, and though the team will continue to manage him with a packed schedule ahead, the winger showed why he is such an asset.
We will follow up with a post tomorrow morning about some injury updates as Jose Martinez, Sebastian Lletget, and Paul Arriola came off early in this one. Some of that is due to precautionary measures, but Nico was candid that Paul’s situation could be more complicated.
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