Match Recap: Aston Villa 2, FC Dallas 0
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja utilized two groups of players, one unit in each half, in order to keep his team fresh heading into Sunday’s league match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Pareja’s first 11 did contain Dallas’ No. 10 Mauro Diaz, who was making his first start since picking up an injury against D.C. United on April 26.
Diaz looked sharp throughout the first half, setting up multiple chances for the English club side but Aston Villa had the best chance of the first 30 minutes when Enda Stevens showed pass before cutting through the middle of the FC Dallas defense and firing a shot towards the near post. Stevens’ shot looked like it would duck just inside post, but Raul Fernandez intercepted, going high to his right side to make a diving save.
Villa took a 1-0 lead just before halftime when Darren Bent and Andreas Weiman recovered the ball near midfield and started a quick counter attack. Running at a pair of FC Dallas defenders Bent dribbled right, while Weiman overlapped to the left. Near the top of the box, Bent played Weiman a through ball, which he struck hard on goal with his left foot. Fernandez was in position to make the save, getting his left hand to the shot but the ball deflected into the back of the net.
Aston Villa took a two-goal lead just three minutes into the second half. FC Dallas rookie center back Nicolas Walker made an arrant pass that was picked off by Gabby Agbonlahor. Walker recovered enough to pull Agbonlahor down and postpone the scoring threat, earning a yellow card in the process, but Charles N’Zogbia punished the home side seconds later by hammering a left-footed blast around the wall and into the top corner of the net.
Homegrown midfielder Danny Garcia, who was named to the MLS Homegrown match earlier this week, helped spark the FC Dallas offense in the 59th minute. Garcia and Fabian Castillo worked a one-two pass at the top of Aston Villa’s area before the latter sent the ball out wide to Michel. The Brazilian left back chipped a dangerous ball into the area but a very compact Aston Villa backline ushered the ball away from danger.
Making his first start for the FC Dallas first team, Homegrown goalkeeper Richard Sanchez did well to keep the match at 2-0, with a spectacular save in the 90th minute. Defender Stephen Keel blocked the first shot attempt from N’Zogbia but the forward had the ball ricochet back to his feet. From point blank range, N’Zogbia looked destined to score but Sanchez charged off his line to deny the forward of his second goal of the match.
AV – Andreas Weiman (Darren Bent) 44
AV – Charles N’Zogbia 48
FC Dallas 1st half lineup – Raul Fernandez, Moises Hernandez, Matt Hedges, Nicolas Walker, Je-Vaughn Watson, Michel, Victor Ulloa, Mauro Diaz, Andres Escobar, Fabian Castillo, David Texeira.
FC Dallas 2nd half lineup – Richard Sanchez, Michel, Walker Zimmerman, Nicolas Walker (Stephen Keel 70), Zach Loyd, Danny Garcia, Peter Luccin, Adam Moffat, Fabian Castillo (Ryan Hollingshead 76), Tesho Akindele, David Texeira (Blas Perez 70).
Aston Villa 1st half lineup – Shay Given, Alan Hutton, Jores Okore, Nathan Baker, Enda Stevens, Chris Herd, Leandro Bacuna, Gary Gardner, Andreas Weimann, Darren Bent, Jack Grealish.
Aston Villa 2nd half lineup – Shay Given, Matt Lowton, Ciaran Clark, Philippe Senderos, Joe Bennett, Charles N’Zogbia, Karim El Ahmadi, Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood, Kieran Richardson, Gabby Agbonlahor.
Substitutes Not Used: Jed Steer.
DAL – Nicolas Walker (caution) 47
AV – Fabian Delph (caution) 62
Referee: Christopher Mercado
Referee’s Assistants: Jody Pinkerton, Tony Obas
Fourth Official: Bill Tomlinson
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