Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ferreira Inspires Dallas To First Win

A brace from 2010 MLS MVP Davide Ferreira helped FC Dallas to a first win of the season over last year's champions, the Colorado Rapids.

All the pressure going into this match was on 2010 finalists FC Dallas, who had yet to win in their first three matches. To make matters worse, the opposition was the side that had pipped them to the MLS crown last season, and one that had also started this campaign in sparkling form.

From the off, Dallas were on top with Ferreira running the show from midfield, and Brek Shea looking solid at left-back. On twenty-one minutes, a Ferreira effort from the edge of the area was parried away by Pickens, but despite that save it seemed only a matter of time before FC Dallas found the opening goal.

That goal finally came with twenty-five minutes on the clock, a whipped in corner by Davide Ferreira, flicked on by Chavez, and volleyed into the back of the net by defender Ihemelu. That was only Dallas' second goal of the 2011 season, and their first for almost three games, a huge stress reliever for fans around the stadium.

Fired up after the goal, the Texans continued to press, and Colorado were struggling to move the ball out of their own half. Folan and Cummings were practically invisible upfront, the duo that combined so well to beat DC last week struggling to find possession, let alone an opportunity on goal.

Had Colorado made it to half time with the score still at one-nil, the Rapids fans might have fancied their team to come from behind, but a second Dallas goal just minutes from half time, changed the game completely.

Finally starting to look himself after a wobbly start to the season, it was fitting that star midfielder, Davide Ferreira, was the goalscorer, latching on to Castillo's through ball, before beating Pickens with a lovely chipped finish. Dallas were 2-0 up, and with half time right around the corner, a Rapids come back looked unlikely.

However, the reigning champions must have known that a high intensity start to the second period might provide them with a lifeline, but all thoughts of that were bagged when Dallas plundered a third goal, virtually straight from the kick off.

A ball was whizzed into the box, low, by Eric Avilla, and, surprise surprise, man of the moment Davide Ferreira was on hand to tap home his second of the match.

At this point, the game was surely up for Colorado, down three goals, and away to a Dallas team in rampant mood, even the most optimistic of Rapids fans would surely have given up the ghost.

The Rapids did create a handful of second half chances though, and both Caleb Folan and Quincy Amerikwa went close to salvaging a consolation goal for the team from the Rockies.

With the game petering out, Colorado never looked likely to mount any kind of come back, and in the end Dallas actually defended their lead quite comfortably, without any undue strain or duress.

Pre-match, Dallas officials refused to talk about this match as a "revenge opportunity" but following their terrific 3-0 win, I'm sure a few around the camp will be relishing the result, which put all memories of last year's cup final, far into the background.

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