FRISCO, Texas — A game-tying goal by in stoppage time allowed FC Dallas to escape with a 2-2 tie against New England at Pizza Hut Park. With the draw, FCD increased their unbeaten streak to 16 games.
New England had built a 2-0 lead after goals from Shalrie Joseph and Ilija Stolica before FCD drew one back in the 80th minute off a penalty kick. But it was Cunningham’s equalizer – and ninth goal of the season – that allowed the home side to secure the point.
New England surprised FCD in the fifth minute, when the home team’s backline was caught napping. After the ball bounced around just outside the home third of the pitch, Revs defender Chris Tierney noticed Joseph had space on the right side of the box and sent a ball in over the Dallas defense.
FCD’s first shot came in the ninth minute, when an attempt by was saved by Revolution keeper Matt Reis, but their best chance to equalize came in the 34th minute when Ferreira was brought down by NE’s Kevin Mansally in the box. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, but FCD’s captain wasted his PK chance wide right.
Without regular captain in the middle of the park to hold his teammates accountable, and without fellow veteran in goal (out with a strained right MCL), the entire FCD lineup looked more than a little disjointed for much of the first half.
But whatever FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said to his team at halftime must have been one inspiring speech. The home team came out with a sense of urgency to begin the final half, and in the 53rd, left midfielder delivered a cross from the left flank that Eric Alexander got on the end of. Unfortunately, his header sailed high over the New England net. Two minutes later, Ferreira tested Reis with a shot from outside the box, but the veteran ‘keeper only had to move a few steps to make the save.
Hyndman went to his bench first in the 61st, bringing on Cunningham for Milton Rodriguez to get more speed up top. The FCD manager’s second change was also designed to make his club a bit more formidable in the attacking third when, in the 64th minute, Chavez came off for rookie Ruben Luna.
Despite the changes, it was New England who would strike again. In the 66th minute, Marko Perovic followed a well-placed kick from Reis and, with several FCD defenders frantically backtracking, laid the ball off from the left flank to Stolica, who finished it for his side’s second goal of the night.
FCD’s third change came in the 70th minute when the speedy came on for Alexander. Just two minutes after coming on, Avila had a nice opportunity to draw one back for Dallas, but Reis was waiting at the near post to deny his chance.
The home side finally got on the board in the 80th minute. Ferreira again drew another penalty kick, this time from Revs defender Darrius Barnes. The Colombian stepped up to the spot for the second time and made good on his chance, knocking his attempt into the back of the net by going high and to the right of Reis.
But the home side still remained down a goal until three minutes past regulation, when Ferreira touched the ball over to Avila at the top of the arc. Avila returned the favor, sending a chipped ball to Ferreira on the right side of the box.
The midfielder then quickly sent the ball toward the far post, where Cunningham dashed in to finish with his left foot. The goal marked Cunningham’s 130th of his career, which puts him just two behind Jaime Moreno for the all-time lead in MLS history.
The final whistle sounded moments later and FCD had a 2-2 draw in a game where New England was the better side for much of the evening.
Both sides return to action on Saturday night. The Revolution will host Columbus at Gillette Stadium while FCD hits the road to face Kansas City at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
NE -- Shalrie Joseph 1 (Chris Tierney 3) 5
NE -- Ilija Stolica 3 (Marko Perovic 1, Matt Reis 1) 66
DAL -- David Ferreira 7 (penalty kick) 80
DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 9 (David Ferreira 10, Eric Avila 1) 93+
NE -- Cory Gibbs (caution; Reckless Tackle) 17
NE -- Darrius Barnes (caution; Dissent) 33
NE -- Pat Phelan (caution; Dissent) 95+
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Cory
Gibbs, Kevin Alston, Chris
Tierney, Sainey Nyassi (Kheli Dube 75), Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Kenny Mansally (Khano Smith 70), Marko Perovic, Ilija Stolica
(Zack Schilawski 82).
Substitutes Not Used: Jason Griffiths, Emmanuel Osei, Seth Sinovic, Bobby Shuttleworth.
FC Dallas -- , Heath Pearce,
Jackson Goncalves, , Jair Benitez, Atiba
Harris, , David Ferreira,
Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 70), Marvin Chavez (Ruben Luna 64), Milton
Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 61).
Substitutes Not Used: , , , Chris Sharpe.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: C.J. Morgante; Craig Lowry
4th Official: Terry Vaughn
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 89 degrees