via FC Dallas
FRISCO, Texas (Saturday, April 22) – Defender Maynor Figueroa lifted FC Dallas (4-0-2) to a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten Sporting Kansas City (3-1-3) tonight at Toyota Stadium.
Figueroa’s header in the 77th minute leaves Dallas as the only team in MLS without a loss.
But it was Maxi Urruti that nearly got FC Dallas on the board in just the fourth minute of the match. Kellyn Acosta started the sequence when he fired a shot from outside the area. The attempt was partially blocked by a Sporting KC defender, but Urruti jumped on the rebound, striking a hard shot towards the post to goalkeeper Tim Melia’s left side. Urruti got a lot on the spinning half-volley, forcing Melia to dive and slap the ball out for a corner kick.
Urruti took a feed from Roland Lamah and tried to beat Melia high over his left hand in the 27th minute. Unfortunately for the Argentine, his first-touch try floated high and sailed over the crossbar. The chance was setup by Carlos Gruezo, who won the ball back in Dallas’ attacking third of the field and played a short ball over the top to Lamah.
Sporting KC’s Roger Espinoza came close to giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute on a corner kick that was played to the far post. Ike Opara was there to win a header, sending the ball into the six-yard box, where Espinoza attemptedto head a shot past FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez. The 21-year-old goalkeeper was alert and gobbled up the half chance to keep the match tied, 0-0.
Melia finished the first half with back-to-back saves on Lamah at the near post. The first chance was set up by Gruezo, who sent a through ball between two Sporting defenders. The second came on a feed from Urruti, who picked thepocket of a defender before pushing the ball to Lamah on the right side.
Gonzalez was called upon to make a diving save on Sporting’s Jimmy Medranda two minutes into the second half. Medranda received the ball at the top of the area and tried to curl a shot around Gonzalez and inside the far post. Gonzalez leapt to his left, and slapped the attempt towards the corner flag, away from Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer, who was looking for the rebound at the back post.
Hernan Grana stepped past his defender and delivered a cross into the box for Urruti in the 66th minute. The forward redirected a header on goal, but was whistled offsides by the linesman to negate another diving save by Melia.
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja brought on Michael Barrios for Tesho Akindele in the 72nd minute.
Five minutes later, Barrios broke free down the right side of the area and lobbed a cross to the far post. Figueroa charged towards the post and smacked an authoritative header past Melia to give FCD the 1-0 victory.