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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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FC Dallas Pulls Upset Victory Over LAFC

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LAFC’s Giorgio Chiellini, right, and FC Dallas’ Jader Obrian battle for the ball during LAFC’s 2-1 loss Saturday night. | Image by Omar Vega/Getty Images

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FC Dallas went into Los Angeles looking to make a statement against the best team in the Western Conference and pulled off an upset victory by a score of 2-1. Jesus Ferreira scored both goals to tie the FC Dallas single-season franchise record at 15 and Dallas pulled within two points of Austin FC, which is in second place in the division. The win also gives FC Dallas the greatest year-over-year difference in points in the history of the club.

“It’s an achievement of everyone here: the ownership, André (Zanotta), the players, the staff,” said head coach Nico Estevez following the win.

“When we met the first time, we talked about working together, and then when you work together and are in sync in the decisions, it’s easier to get to where we are right now. Probably the expectations were that high that we were at this point right now, but I think credit to the players, as I said, because they have done a fantastic job.“

LAFC took the lead midway through the match with a little trickery. LA players realized that the Dallas defense was playing high and cleared a pass down the pitch to forward Cristian Arango who went one-on-one with goalkeeper Maarten Paes. Paes aggressively attacked, giving Arango an opportunity to lob the ball over the goalkeeper for an easy score.

Not to be outdone in the trickery department, FC Dallas caught up with LAFC after a foul by Franco Escobar. While Escobar was fighting with the referee about the call that resulted in a yellow card, FC Dallas’ Paul Arriola set the ball and made a quick pass to Ferreira who drilled the ball into the back of the net. Quick thinking on the play left LAFC players flabbergasted on the pitch.

“That is just how mischievous Paul (Arriola) can be,” said midfielder Sebastian Lletget. “LAFC were also quick thinkers because in their goal they caught our defenders high up and they took advantage of that. We decided that we could do the same thing and credit Paul who took advantage of that and I am very happy for him. He is a great player amongst a great group.”

Ferreira’s second score came late in the game at the 81-minute mark. Faced with a free kick from the edge of the box, Ferreira arced a perfect shot that found pay dirt for the 2-1 lead and the victory.

“Jesus is a player that is always pushing and I remember when he got to 10 (goals) and I talked with him and said, now another 10. And it is always difficult but I think he’s really focused,” Estevez said. “In this game that he had to be the captain, I saw him with a different mentality and spirit. He has carried the team. He has shown a strong mentality with himself. He’s a complete player in a sport where if we keep working hard with him, there will be a lot of good memories.”

Only four regular season matches remain in the 2022 season. FC Dallas will also play a friendly against Tigres UNAL on September 24 at Toyota Stadium.

Two of the final matches will be away games, where Dallas has struggled, before returning to North Texas to complete the season with a home game against Kansas City on October 9.

The final three games will be an opportunity for FC Dallas to improve in the standings as none of the remaining three teams is playoff-bound.     

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