By IVES GALARCEP
FC Dallas Stadium has been a fortress of sorts for the top team in MLS this season, with only the Portland Timbers succeeding in escaping Frisco, Texas with so much as a point.
The San Jose Earthquakes came into Saturday night’s match still looking for their first road win of the season, and while they pushed FC Dallas for most of the night, they never could find a way to beat Peruvian goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
The FC Dallas goalkeeper made six saves, including some important stops late in the match, to help Dallas hold on for a 1-0 victory over the Earthquakes.
Fabian Castillo provided the game’s only goal in the 33rd minute when he bent a left-footed finish past Jon Busch after David Ferreira found him with the incisive pass after a speedy FC Dallas counterattack.
Castillo’s goal was one of the few moments of skillful brilliance on a night where there were far more ugly and physical clashes. From Victor Bernardez inadvertently kicking Kenny Cooper in the head and forcing him out of the match, to George John bloodying Steven Lenhart’s nose with raised arm as both went up for a ball in the penalty area, there was plenty of rough stuff to keep the referee busy.
Fernandez was the star of the show for FC Dallas, saving his best save for late in the match, when he denied Chris Wondolowski from close range.
The victory improved FC Dallas to 8-2-3, keeping them five points ahead of the Timbers for first place in the Western Conference. The loss dropped San Jose to 3-5-6, with just one victory in their past 10 matches.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with Fernandez’s performance? Surprised by how badly the Earthquakes have struggled?
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