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Furious late rally not enough for FC Dallas in loss at Montreal

For the second time in two weeks, FC Dallas trailed a match late in the contest and finished the game with a flurry of shots in a dramatic finish.

Only this time, the ball did not find the back of the net.

After falling behind 2-0 to the Montreal Impact and eventually cutting that lead in half in the 77th minute, a combination of brilliant goalkeeping, alert defending and missed opportunities thwarted FCD’s comeback attempt.

“We never lost our heads and continued to look for goals,” head coach Oscar Pareja said after the game. “The way we played the last 20 minutes, I thought was very encouraging. They played with everything they had.”

Similar to the season opener against San Jose and two weeks ago against the LA Galaxy, FC Dallas did not throw in the towel after falling behind. Dallas had plenty of opportunities to at least split the points with the Impact, accumulating 15 corner kicks and 21 shots throughout the game.

The rebounds were even going Dallas’ way in the second half and one of them ultimately led to a Matt Hedges goal in the 77th minute after a Tesho Akindele shot was blocked following a set piece.

“He was making some good saves, but he was knocking them around kind of loose in the box,” Hedges said of Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush. “So I figured I would stay right near the middle of the goal. And when we got a good look, Tesho got a good a shot off and [Bush] saved it right to me.”

As the clock ticked away following Hedges’ goal, Dallas stayed true to form and ramped up their aggressive attack. But the Impact rose to the challenge, with Bush finishing the night with seven saves in front of a defense that was routinely blocking shots down the stretch as well.

Dallas forward Blas Perez seemed intent on willing the Hoops to an equalizing goal in the final minutes. But one shot was blocked in a stacked Montreal box, one was sent over the crossbar on an acrobatic aerial kick, and another header was saved brilliantly by Bush as he stretched his left hand to swat the ball away from the far post.

“He made a few saves like I haven’t seen in a long time,” Pareja said of Bush’s game tonight. “Unfortunately it was against us, but that’s the way the game goes.”

“We’ve got a lot of heart,” Hedges said. “Almost coming back down 2-0 on the road, it just shows that we always push and always give 100 percent no matter what the score is and where the game is. We’re always there and always in it.”