FRISCO, Texas -- Losing a fifth straight game simply wasn’t an option and Fabian Castillo made sure that didn’t happen.
The Colombian looked set to come out of the game midway through the second half as a hard challenge felled the youngster and caused him to limp off the pitch after an extended period on the ground. Initially all signals pointed to the 21-year-old subbing off, but Castillo showed plenty of resilience to stay in the match and it was a good thing he did.
In the 83rd minute, Jair Benitez curled a ball into the box that pinged around before Castillo slid it home to score the game-tying goal, his third of the season.
“It was a good center from [Benitez],” said Castillo through a translator after the match. “Matt [Hedges] let it go and it was just there for me to finish it.”
Castillo has certainly had his ups and downs in his four years in Dallas and Oscar Pareja said tonight’s performance shows the still-young striker is gaining plenty of maturity.
“Today when he was off the field, it was suggested from the medical department [to take him out] but he was brave enough to come back because he knew his team needed him,” said Pareja. “I thought the game would give him a chance and that just shows the commitment that he has and I will always support these kind of actions for sure.”
With his third goal of the season, Castillo has already surpassed his 2013 tally in just 12 appearances in 2014. The young Colombian started up top in Saturday’s match in what looked to be more of a 4-4-2 formation rather than his traditional left wing position in Pareja’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
That slight formation tweak may have been the reason Castillo had one of his better games of the season on Saturday night, but if you ask Fabian, there may have been another reason for tonight’s goal.
“I don’t know what it is, but whenever I play against coaches from Colombia I score,” Castillo told reporters with a smile. “It happens against Chivas [twice in 2014] and then when I used to play against [Oscar] too.”