FRISCO, Texas – Former FC Dallas forward Dominic Oduro put his old team to the sword on Sunday evening, leading the Columbus Crew to an exciting 4-2 victory that kept the team's playoff push alive while simultaneously dealing a severe blow to Dallas' own hopes.
Oduro netted the all-important third goal just before halftime, placing it past Raúl Fernández after a fine individual effort that saw him beat Matt Hedges on a 50-50 ball and chip it forward to himself before getting free in the area. It was his 12th goal of the season, tying a career best set two seasons ago playing for the Chicago Fire.
FCD gave the Toyota Field faithful hope when they scored their second of the evening in the 54th minute to narrow the deficit to one goal. Full back Zach Loyd carried the ball up the left flank and centered toMauro Diaz just outside of Columbus' 18-yard box. The young Argentine then showed off some fancy footwork, beating several Columbus defenders and pirouetting around Crew 'keeper Matt Lampson before tapping in. However, the early two-goal deficit proved too much to overcome.
Columbus claimed that advantage less than 20 minutes into the match thanks to a pair of quick counterattacks that badly exploited Dallas’ backline.
Federico Higuain was the first to strike, opening the scoring in strange fashion nine minutes in after some nice buildup play from a pair of Columbus Homegrown players. Lampson found Chad Barson on the right flank, who in turn found Higuain over the top and onside behind the home defense for a one-on-one with Fernández. Higuain rounded the 'keeper, only to see George John clear the ball right back into his head before it caromed into the net.
Eight minutes later, Oduro showed the kind of pace that has tantalized coaches at each of his many stops in MLS. The Ghanaian performed a textbook give-and-go with forward Jairo Arrieta at midfield, sending Oduro blazing past FCD midfielder Erick up the right flank before finding the Costa Rican open in the area for an emphatic finish off the undersidee of the crossbar.
Diaz’s quick thinking helped Dallas pull one back three minutes later. The Argentine was fouled just inside Columbus’ half but quickly popped up, steadied the ball and hit a perfect through ball to Blas Pérez, who found himself in alone on Lampson. The Panama international made no mistake, burying his low shot in the far corner.
However, Dallas were unable to capitalize on the momentum and would eventually find the game out of reach with Oduro's strike just before halftime. Bernardo Anor would eventually ice the match in the 86th minute, doing well to control a chipped pass from Higuaín and slamming it home.
The four tallies on Sunday evening marked the first time in 2013 that the Black-and-Gold have scored more than three goals and made them just the fifth club to reach the 800-goal milestone in MLS, as they finished the night with 802.
The Crew will have no respite from the grueling playoff race, with an important Eastern Conference matchup at home against Sporting KC looming next Saturday, while FC Dallas hits the road to take on Real Salt Lake later that same evening.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Chad Marshall||An absolute beast in the air throughout the 90 minutes, and made a crucial goal-saving tackle to avert a Dallas equalizer in the first half|
|2||Dominic Oduro||Only saw 56 minutes due to fitness issues, but looked just fine while he was on the field, torching the Dallas defense to the tune of a goal and an assist|
|3||Mauro Diaz||Showed just why FCD tapped him to one day take David Ferreira's mantle, showing quick thinking and fancy footwork to pick up a goal and an assist|