PORTLAND, Ore. - FC Dallas has been here before, and feel confident that it can end the same way again.
It was more late frustration on the road in the playoffs as FC Dallas allowed center back Nat Borchers to score off a scramble in the box in stoppage time to give the Portland Timbers a 3-1 advantage heading into the Western Conference Final second leg at Toyota Stadium on Sunday.
"Again set pieces for us. They capitalized on their set pieces and we didn't," said Ryan Hollingshead after Leg One. "We didn't do well defending them and gave up too many goals. Luckily we got that away goal which helps us in the long run, but we've got our work cut out for us for sure. We still feel confident that we can pull it off, but we were expecting more out of the first leg."
What was a rough start for Dallas turned on its head as David Texeira flicked home a cross from Je-Vaugn Watson in the 62nd minute to cut the 2-0 deficit in half and give FCD a precious away goal. The late tally from Borchers complicates things a bit, but FCD has scored at least twice in 14 out of 18 games at Toyota Stadium this season including a 4-1 win over the Timbers in July.
"At 2-1, you're thinking it's the same situation with Seattle, so we're in a good spot to go home and a win would take it for us, so giving up that last goal is a bummer for sure," said Hollingshead. "We also feel confident in our record at home. We score more goals at home than a lot of teams so we feel like at home we're going to score two goals no matter what."
FC Dallas will need a 2-0 win in Frisco to advance on the away goals rule, an overtime win after a 3-1 result or a three-goal victory to advance to MLS Cup. Head coach Oscar Pareja is sure it's a mission they can accomplish.
"Fortunately, we scored a goal which leaves the series open. We'll take the game to Frisco where we've done it before," said Pareja. "I believe in this group. I know this group can do it. We have the talent, energy and character to do it. Sometimes we put ourselves in spots that aren't necessary but that's the game and once again this is the team that I trust. We'll do it in Frisco."