FRISCO - After controversially going down to ten men following a red card shown to Blas Perez late in the first half, FC Dallas could have settled for a moral victory.
They chose a real one instead.
Despite having the disadvantage for the entire half, FCD found two second half goals to defeat first-place Real Salt Lake 2-1 and vault themselves into a tie for first place in Major League Soccer.
"It was an excellent effort from the team and the guys," said Je-Vaughn Watson. "Because even when we were down to ten players, everyone was still pushing, still fighting because we know we are a good team and better than them. So we just kept fighting because we needed it more than them to go top of the league and we practiced hard all week so the effort paid off."
After the highly controversial second yellow card shown to Blas Perez for what the referee deemed embellishment after he was pushed by RSL defender Chris Schuler, it looked like the story of this top-of-the-table match would be that red card, but FCD ensured that wouldn't be the case.
"We’re a fit team and no pushovers," said Watson. "So even if we’re down to eight or seven guys we’re going to keep running hard."
Watson played a huge part in the win, scoring his fourth goal of the season off a corner kick in the 50th minute to open the scoring, a goal that bounced off his chest before sneaking past Nick Rimando in goal.
"We practiced that play yesterday," said Watson. "Matt [Hedges] went across the first guy and it was just me reaching in the right spot in the right time. It was low so the only thing I could score with was my chest. Anywhere the goal comes from my knee or my ankle or anywhere, I was just in the right place to score."
Amazingly, it wasn't the first time Watson's chest proved vital, having scored a similar goal with his pectorals in a win against D.C. United in 2013.
"It’s just being in the spot and you just want it," Watson said about his proclivity of scoring with his chest. "It doesn’t matter where, you can get a re-direct…I’m just always hunting for a goal no matter what inside the box. I just try to get on the end of anything."