By DAN KARELL
Saturday night’s encounter between FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes had just about everything that any soccer fan would want to see.
In a four-goal thriller where three red cards were shown in the second half, FC Dallas battled back from a two-goal deficit to draw the Earthquakes, 2-0, at FC Dallas Stadium. FC Dallas’ Michel scored the game-tying goal in the second half on a controversial penalty kick, which got the ball rolling in terms of referee Baldomero Toledo’s decisions for the rest of the match.
Using the confidence boost of a big victory against Sporting Kansas City a week earlier, the Earthquakes needed only seven minutes to break the deadlock. Winger Cordell Cato stormed down the left side of the box towards the byline before playing the ball back into the middle. Cato’s teammate Alan Gordon arrived at the top of the box and smashed home for his fourth goal of the season.
The Earthquakes stunned the crowd of 14,920 in Frisco, Texas when right back Steven Beitashour score only his second ever professional goal to give the visitors a two-goal advantage in the 16th minute. Three minutes later, FC Dallas would give their fans some hope.
Michel, in his left back role, played a long ball towards the top of the box. FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson met it and sent a header towards goal that Blas Perez only needed to touch past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch to cut the deficit to one in the 19th minute. From here on, the home side started to gain control of the match. Busch, who made four saves, made arguably his best one in the 24th minute to deny FC Dallas’ David Ferreira an equalizer.
In the 69th minute, controversy took hold of the match. On a beautifully chipped ball from Watson to Perez, the referee Toledo judged Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez to have pulled down Perez in the area, though video evidence points to very minimal contact. Toledo pointed to the spot, and once everything was sorted out three minutes later, Michel scored to tie the match.
As the teams continued to battle, the Earthquakes were put at a disadvantage when left back Justin Morrow was sent off in the 81st minute for a reckless tackle from behind on FC Dallas midfielder Ramon Nuñez. Five minutes later, both teams had players see red as Bernardez and FC Dallas substitute Kenny Cooper were shown their marching orders after a brief scuffle, making the Earthquakes finish the match with just nine men on the field.
Here are the game highlights: