AUSTIN, Texas – FC Dallas and Chicago Fire FC played to a rainy scoreless draw Wednesday at St. David's Performance Center in Austin, TX.
"I think continuing our preparation for the first game on February 26, the goals that we wanted to achieve in this game we've done," head coach Nico Estévez said after the game. "We had really high quality offensive plays today. We just couldn't finish some of the actions. And it's something that we have to keep working on, and finishing up. The field was a little bit difficult to play and some of these last third actions were more difficult due to the field conditions, but we created enough chances to score. And also we didn't concede a goal and also didn't conceive many chances from the opponent. We controled the game very well."
The only lineup change from FCD's previous outing was the addition of Edwin Cerrillo in place of Facundo Quignon in defensive midfield.
"With Facu (Quignon) and Edwin (Cerrillo), it was more to give them minutes, physically to prepare them for the first game," Estévez explained. "I talked them before San Antonio said we're gonna play the same amount of time for both players - one will start one game, one will start the other. I think Edwin gives us different things than Facundo can provide to us but I think Facu did a great job in the second half, consolidating the position and helping us to keep the control of the game."
Dallas began the game on the front foot and created a number of chances via wingers Paul Arriola and Jáder Obrian who routinely found themselves behind Chicago's backline over the first 35 minutes. The best chance of the game came after Paxton Pomkyal beat his defender and played a quick one-two with Paul Arriola before bursting into CFFC's box but his cross was just out of reach of Jesús Ferreira.
Once again, coach Estévez made a line change at the 60 minute mark with eight substitutions replacing most of the starting lineup. Dallas' midfield control dwindled over the last 30 minutes but its defense held strong and was able to preserve the shutout.
"It something that we talked about before the game, to treat these as an away game, to play with the personality and the conviction to come here and get three points on the road. And I think the mentality was there, we conceded very few chances. And then we were able to create enough chances to win again."