The score at the final whistle read Vancouver Whitecaps 2, FC Dallas 2, but the key player down the stretch was the man in goal for the visitors.
In a game that FC Dallas needed to get a result, it was Raul Fernandez who made some late saves that preserved the team’s collective effort and earned Oscar Pareja's side a priceless point on the road against a team they are battling for playoff positioning.
That point does not land on Dallas’ total without some fantastic saves from the goalkeeper that many call "Superman." Fernandez earned an All-Star nod last season and he showed that talent again with saves throughout the match.
“It was a great day for him,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “Obviously, it’s important for players to do their job they are needed to when the game requires and when the team needs them.”
In the 10th minute, Fernandez denied Darren Mattocks after the forward had broken in one-on-one into the Dallas area. In the 76th, the Peruvian made probably his most spectacular save, flying to protect his upper 90 from a Pedro Morales 30 yard blast. Then in the 88th minute, the keeper stopped Morales again on a shot from inside the Dallas penalty area. All told, Fernandez made seven saves to preserve the tie.
Fernandez is up for the MLS Save of the Week for that last save on Morales. He had previously won the MLS Save of the Week in Week 10 for a double save of the Seattle Sounders’ Osvaldo Alonso and Clint Dempsey.
FC Dallas currently sits tied for third in the ultra-tight Western Conference with 30 points and at the end of the season they could be looking back at Raul's heroics on Sunday in Vancouver as one of the key results in the season.