FRISCO - A howler from Rapids backup goalkeeper Steward Ceus handed FC Dallas a 1-0 victory in the season opener at a chilly FC Dallas Stadium.
Starting in place of the injured Matt Pickens, Ceus left his box and failed to reach a speculative long ball from Dallas playmaker David Ferreira in the 11th minute, allowing Jackson the easiest goal he will score all season and gifting Dallas a precious three points over their Western Conference rivals.
The first chance of the match fell to former FCD player Atiba Harris who beat FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to a 7th minute corner, but sent his header wide of the mark. It’s a missed chance the Rapids would regret as Dallas scored with their first real opportunity of the match moments later.
The Rapids continued their bossing of the game after going down, however, and nearly equalized straight away. Rookie midfielder Dillon Powers played in fellow rookie DeShorn Brown, who beat defender Matt Hedges for pace, but sent his shot right at the onrushing Fernandez.
It looked as if Jackson had doubled the FC Dallas lead in the 18th minute as the Brazilian received the ball near midfield and unleashed an effort from 30 yards that gave the optical illusion of a goal despite only finding the side netting.
It was more of the same in the second half as neither side found much of a foothold in the relatively disjointed game. Harris nearly equalized things for the Rapids in the 58th minute as the new Colorado signing ripped a curling effort from 25 yards out that beat the sprawling Fernandez, but sailed harmlessly to the wrong side of the Dallas goal.
The Rapids failed to produce a better effort as the game wore down while FC Dallas was happy to pack up shop and accept the three points gifted to them by Ceus’ error.
With the win, Dallas moves to 8-4-6 all-time on opening day while the Rapids fall to 5-11-2 in the first game of the season and just 2-8-3 all-time at FC Dallas Stadium.
FCD heads west to take on Chivas USA on Sunday, March 10 (4 p.m. CT, Time Warner Cable Sports/UniMas).