FRISCO, Texas - There is stealing back a point, and then there is what FC Dallas did against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.
In a wild and physical match at FC Dallas Stadium, the home side scored two late goals in the final two minutes of regulation to complete a dramatic comeback and pick up a 2-2 draw against a Sporting KC side that was down to 10 men after C.J. Sapong was given a red card earlier in the second half. The tie prevented FC Dallas from suffering their first defeat at home this season and extended Sporting KC's current winless run to four games.
The rally began when Ramon Nunez, seeing his first action of the season, served a ball from the run of play that Andrew Jacobson flicked past Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen in the 88th minute. Two minutes later, Walker Zimmerman, who came off the bench at halftime to replace Matt Hedges, scored the first goal of his career off of a corner by David Ferreira to dramatically tie the score.
FC Dallas continue to dominate dead ball situations, as they now have a league-leading 15 set-piece goals on the season. They have also scored eight times this season after the 75th minute of the match.
FC Dallas dominated possession and generated twice as many shots on goal in the first half, but were unlucky not to break through. Kenny Cooper first saw a diving header smack off the post in the 13th minute, and Je-Vaughn Watson was also denied by the woodwork on his own headed effort in the 27th.
That misfortune allowed Kansas City to jump out in front two minutes before halftime through a penalty kick from Kei Kamara. On a scramble in FC Dallas’ 18-yard box after a Graham Zusi free kick, Sporting KC center back Aurelien Collin took a shot that Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez saved before Collin knocked home the rebound. The goal was waived off, however, as referee Mark Geiger had awarded the 37th penalty kick of his 112 matches in MLS after Jacobson tussled with Collin on initial ball whipped in by Zusi.
Kamara stepped to the spot and chipped the ball to the left side of the net as Fernandez guessed incorrectly. It was Kamara’s second goal of the season since returning from his loan to Norwich City of the English Premier League and put FC Dallas behind in a match at home for only the second time this season.
Sporting KC doubled their lead early in the second half off of the first own goal given up this year by FC Dallas. Zusi sent in a corner from the left and the ball took a bounce before ricocheteing off Watson and past Fernandez for the score.
While it seemed like FC Dallas was on the brink of defeat, the hosts received a lifeline when Sapong was sent off in the 68th minute for knocking a ball into a befallen Jacobson during a stoppage in play. That man disadvantage ultimately cost Sporting KC, as FC Dallas started pushing numbers forward before finding the late headed finishes from Jacobson and Zimmerman.
FC Dallas now have to quickly turn their attention to the important mid-week fixture at home with the Portland Timbers in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup quarterfinal action.