FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Blas Pérez struck three minutes from time to give Western Conference leaders FC Dallas a 1-0 victory at New England on Saturday afternoon.
Pérez floated behind the Revolution back four and nodded David Ferreira's inviting chip inside the far post to settle a match that sparked to life in the second half.
Both sides enjoyed opportunities to open the scoring before Pérez's decisive tally, but the second-half substitute ultimately decided the match and handed FCD its fourth victory in five matches to start the campaign.
FCD rued its inability to turn its territorial advantage into the opening goal during the opening stanza. The visitors enjoyed most of the possession, but they spurned the chances created to ensure the sides remained on level terms.
Jackson couldn't put away a prime opportunity in the first 15 minutes, and Ferreira was denied by New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth just before the break.
New England improved a bit after play resumed in the second half and nearly snatched a goal before the hour through Jerry Bengtson, but FCD goalkeeper Raúl Fernández – restored to the lineup after linking up with Peru last weekend – managed to push the effort over the bar.
Kenny Cooper thought he had finally given FCD the lead after 63 minutes. The ex-New York striker managed to nod home a cross from the left, but the assistant referee raised his flag to incorrectly rule the effort out for offside.
FCD continued to pile on the pressure and forced a clearance off the line three minutes later. George John rose highest to meet Michel's corner kick from the right flank, but Lee Nguyen chested the ball away from danger to maintain parity.
The home side pushed forward in the late stages in a bid to snatch the full complement of points. Fernández did well to block Juan Toja's effort at the near post to to set the stage for FCD's late winner.
Ferreira found himself in time and space in the Revolution attacking third. He picked up his head and placed the ball into Pérez's path. The Panamanian striker ghosted into the right spot and placed his header inside the far post to hand FCD all three points.
With the win, FCD extended its lead atop the Western Conference to four points ahead of the second-place LA Galaxy.
Dallas is on the road again next week, heading to Toronto FC for a Saturday match.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Andrew Jacobson||He was the primary reason New England generated nothing from the midfield, and worked hard to put his own attackers in good spots.|
|2||Blas Perez||This is what the big man gets big paychecks. Perez is one of the absolute best at finding those gaps and then executing in front of goal.|
|3||Michel||Has formed a very instinctive partnership with Jacobson in very short order. His ability to switch the point of attack is a real weapon.|