MLS Cup Champions undergo first loss of the 2011 season to the same team they beat to win the coveted MLS Cup.After a winless season so far, FC Dallas made a statement by defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-0 at Pizza Hut Park.
The match started out intense from the kick-off, no surprise given that it was a rematch of the 2010 MLS Cup final. Yet despite the energy, nothing bore fruit until FC Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu scored his first goal against his former club. Soon after, the score was 2-0 at the half, and it was obvious that FC Dallas was putting on more pressure than the reigning champions had had so far this season.
As the night progressed, injuries and yellow cards added up quickly, along with the frustration the Rapids had with their own performance, until the final whistle. FC Dallas finally showed up to the 2011 season, giving Colorado their first loss, while also causing the Rapids to be scoreless for the first time since October 2, 2010.
The action started early, as FC Dallas had three chances within the first five minutes, the closest being a missed shot by George John.
As the desire to score first grew, the fouls became more aggressive. By the 13th minute Andrew Jacobsen was handed the first yellow card of the night. With the frustration building, Sanna Nyassi received his yellow card just minutes later.
The Rapids midfield was missing two veterans tonight, and the lack of command was evident. FC Dallas had its swagger back, and was forcing Rapids goalie Matt Pickens to give an amazing performance.
By the 26th minute, FC Dallas’ persistence paid off. Ugo Ihemelu scored the first goal of the match, off of a corner kick. In the play, Marvin Chavez got knocked in the head by Nyassi, and ends up being carried off the pitch on a stretcher. Eric Avila came in for injured midfielder.
After a few minutes of physical play, Caleb Folan was handed a yellow card after a collision in the box.
As he sat brooding on the bench, Rapids coach Gary Smith seemed clearly frustrated by he MLS champions' lack of possession.
It didn’t take long for FC Dallas to discourage the Rapids even more. David Ferreira scored the second goal of the night, making the score 2-0 at the half.
Perhaps the Rapids were hoping to come out of the halftime locker room with a fresh and focused resolve to partake in a comeback that would be talked about for weeks, but FC Dallas crushed that dream within 25 seconds. Avila placed the ball up to Ferreira, who gladly made the score FC Dallas 3, Rapids 0.
The remaining 44 minutes were filled with substitutions and four more yellow cards
Dallas was only threatened once by the Rapids, when Caleb Folan had a powerful shot in the 54th minute, butDallas keeper Kevin Hartman didn’t even need to move, as it went wide.
By the 74th minute, FC Dallas had 13 shots on goal, and the Rapids had only three.
The match could not be over fast enough for the defending champions.
No doubt proud to be the team that put the Rapids' winning streak to an end, FC Dallas proved they are back by defeating them soundly.
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