Upon return to starting lineup, Tesho Akindele's promise pays off

FRISCO - Tesho Akindele had a premonition heading into Saturday night’s match and Oscar Pareja wasn’t going to deny it.

The FC Dallas forward who earned his first start since June 7th had a promise for his coach before the match.

“If you’re a forward you have to have confidence, that’s what it is to be a forward,” Akindele told reporters after the match. “Before the game I told him I would score and celebrate with him.”

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And that’s exactly what happened in the 51st minute. Akindele juked a defender and was taken down by Demar Phillips in the box prompting referee Ted Unkel to point to the penalty spot. The 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year stepped up to slot home his first goal since early May.

The win sees FC Dallas move back to third place in the Western Conference back within striking distance of the top spots as results elsewhere went FCD’s way.

“The boys got back to those roots and fundamentals and then they performed very well against a good team who has a lot of control on the ball,” Pareja said after the match. “We found good timing to control the ball when we needed, countered them when we needed and I think those things made us deserve the points.”

For Akindele, it’s a huge moment as he heads off to a do-or-die World Cup Qualifying doubleheader for Canada against Belize and if he takes his confidence from Saturday’s match into the internationals, the back of the net won’t be far off.

“Tesho has that conviction when he tells you ‘I’m going to score tonight,’ I like that,” said Pareja. “He really had that in his mind and I had to really trust that. It’s his job and in the college game he scored a ton of goals and he makes a ton of things happen in the box where he lives. Before the game and in the locker room, he was insisting that ‘coach I’m going to score for you today’ and for him that was an emotional moment and he wanted to remind him of that.”