FRISCO – FC Dallas headed into Saturday night’s match with Vancouver with the mentality that only a win would suffice to keep their team in the Western Conference playoff race. They needed every second of the 96 minutes played at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday night, but a 96th minute 25-yard volley from Julian de Guzman brought a roar out of the 17,685 in attendance that hasn’t been heard in Frisco in quite some time. Here are the three biggest plays from a wild night:
1) FC Dallas needed to come out of the gates strong on Saturday night and they did just that, earning a penalty kick in the 16th minute as Martin Bonjour dragged down Matt Hedges on an FCD free kick. David Ferreira stepped up to take the crucial kick, but Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton got down brilliantly to save the PK low to his right-hand side. Throughout the match, you wondered if that was the moment FCD would be ruing for weeks to come.
2) Late in the first half, Ferreira had another golden opportunity that went begging. Brek Shea, quiet through much of the first half, found some space on the left side, sending in a low, driven cross that found the foot of Ferreira. The Colombian made good contact with the 41st minute cross but sent his shot rattling off the post to send the teams into halftime scoreless despite Dallas’ dominance.
3) The winner that looked like it would never come found the net late in the match through an unlikely source. Defensive midfielder Julian de Guzman, traded to FC Dallas in mid-July, chested down a Fabian Castillo corner kick that was cleared to the top of the box and let fly. De Guzman had just two goals in 73 career matches, but you wouldn’t know it by the quality of this strike. His 25-yard volley beat two onrushing defenders and Knighton in goal to keep Dallas in the Western Conference playoff hunt.