FC Dallas Tops Atlanta

via FC Dallas

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas came from behind with two late goals by Tesho Akindele to defeat Atlanta United FC, 3-2, tonight at Toyota Stadium.

FC Dallas nearly had a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Michael Barrios played right back Reggie Cannon a pass to compliment the Homegrown defender’s overlapping run. Cannon got to the end line and centered a pass to Maxi Urruti. The Argentine forward knocked a first-touch strike on goal but Atlanta defender Franco Escobar stepped in front of the shot to send it out for a corner kick.

JULY 4, 2018: Fans unfurl an American flag during the MLS game between FC Dallas and Atlanta United on July 4, 2018, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. (Photo by George Walker/DFWsportsonline)

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JULY 4, 2018: Fans unfurl an American flag during the MLS game between FC Dallas and Atlanta United on July 4, 2018, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. (Photo by George Walker/DFWsportsonline)

Victor Ulloa picked off a pass and quickly put Urruti in on goal again in the seventh minute. Urruti turned and ripped a low shot but Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst recovered in time to make a sliding block, once again sending the ball out for an FC Dallas corner kick.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez came up with a big save in the 18th minute to keep the highest-scoring offense in MLS off the board. Former FC Dallas Academy player, Mikey Ambrose made an overlapping run down FCD’s left side and was rewarded with a pass from Atlanta’s Miguel Almiron. Ambrose chipped a pass to the back post, where Julian Gressel cracked a volley on goal, but Gonzalez slid across his line to block the attempt with his chest.

Roland Lamah earned a free kick for FC Dallas at the top of the box in the 21st minute. Center back Reto Ziegler stepped up to take the kick, ripping a left-footed shot just over the wall and inside the post to Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s left side to give the home side a 1-0 advantage.

Atlanta leveled the match, 1-1, in the 41st minute when Hector Villalba received a pass on the right flank, skipped by FC Dallas defender Maynor Figueroa, and centered a pass to the top of the six yard box. Josef Martinez was there to deflect a shot past Gonzalez, who dove to his right side and got a hand on the ball, but could not keep it out of the net. The goal was Martinez’s league-leading 16th goal of the season.

Martinez scored his second of the match to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute. Almiron received a pass in-behind the FC Dallas midfield, ran at FCD’s back line and slipped a pass in for Martinez to hit with his first touch. Gonzalez stepped out to cut down on the striker’s angle but Martinez ripped a shot over the goalkeeper’s right foot to score his 17th of the year.

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja responded with two substations, bringing on Ryan Hollingshead and Tesho Akindele. The duo connected on a play up the left flank in the 86th minute that tied the match, 2-2. Hollingshead hit a sharp pass at Urruti, who flicked a pass into space. Akindele grabbed the ball just beyond midfield, raced towards goal and beat Guzan with a hard shot from just inside the area.

Two minutes later, Akindele put away the game-winner following a goal-mouth scramble on a FC Dallas corner kick. Michael Barrios hit an out-swinging corner kick to the top of the six yard box. Hollingshead got a head on the ball, sending it towards FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges. Hedges tried to pound a ball through a crowd of players in front of goal but the attempt ended up at the feet of Akindele. The forward scored his second of the game by sliding to beat Guzan to the ball. The shot deflected off the goalkeeper and settled into the back corner of the net to give FCD the 3-2 win.