A stoppage-time goal from substitute Eric Avila helped FC Dallas steal a point from the visiting Columbus Crew in a 2-2 tie at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday. Jeff Cunningham opened the scoring for Dallas before Adam Moffat and Guillermo Barros Schelotto tallied for Columbus.
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman made five changes from the side that tied with Houston in the season opener, including starting Kevin Hartman in goal for Dario Sala, who has an injured hamstring.
FCD’s constant first-half pressure finally paid off in the 28th minute. After a great pass from Daniel Hernandez, FCD midfielder David Ferreira was taken down inside the opposing area by Columbus’ Danny O’Rourke, resulting in a penalty kick.
Cunningham stepped up to the spot and quickly converted, sending the ball into the left side of the net to give the home side a 1-0 advantage. It was his third career goal against Columbus, who had drafted him ninth overall in the 1998 MLS Super Draft.
However, Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha must have given some serious pep talk to his team at halftime because the Crew looked inspired from the whistle to start the second half.
In the 51st, a shot from long range by Columbus’ Brian Carroll was stopped by Hartman. That was the visitors’ first shot on goal of the game.
Carroll’s blast proved to be a hint of good things to come for the Black and Gold because just one minute later, Moffat’s first goal of the year drew things level. Steven Lenhart sent a great pass to his teammate, who quickly knocked it into the left side of the net to tie the game.
FCD had a great chance to take their second lead of the night in the 68th. After Jair Benitez delivered a great ball from the left flank, Pearce headed the ball squarely inside the Columbus area but his effort went high.
Schelotto’s second goal of 2010 came after a penalty kick he took was stopped by Hartman in the 82nd. Columbus was awarded the kick after FCD center back George John took Chad Marshall down inside the box on a corner kick.
Just seconds later, Schelotto stepped up, struck the ball from the spot but was stopped cold by Hartman. However, the Columbus playmaker alertly went for the rebound and headed it into the right side of the goal to make it 2-1.
But FCD wasn’t done. After Ferreira was denied near post by Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer, the ball popped back into the midfield. Avila then hit a low shot toward the far post that tucked just inside the net for the equalizer.