Big 1st half lifts FC Dallas past Portland

Published Thursday, April 14, 2016 7:56 AM by Shane Barrow
Big 1st half lifts FC Dallas past Portland

FC Dallas is showing they are a force to be reckoned with on the road this season as they ran out to dominant 3-0 halftime lead in a 3-1 victory at the Prtland Timbers.  It marked the very first victory in Portland for FC Dallas and moved the team back to the top of the Western Conference standings just ahead of their next opponent Sporting Kansas City who visit Frisco on Sunday.

It was a flying start for the visitors as the Portland crowd were shocked by the flying start.  The speedy attackers were in full display despite the talented Mauro Diaz missing yet another match with injury.  The initial intent was signaled in only the 2nd minute of play as Victor Ulloa fired just over the crossbar.  The goals were coming though.  Shoddy play from the Timbers in their own half was punished in grand fashion as Portland were less than tidy in possession.  Forward Maxi Urruti pried the ball free from a Portland defender in his own third of the pitch. Urruti quickly worked the ball to forward partner Tesho Akindele, who ran at what remained of the Timbers’ back line. After drawing two defenders, Akindele slipped a pass inside to Barrios, who used two touches to beat goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.

In the 26th minute it was another steal in the Timbers half that led to the second goal.  Urruti once again picked the pocket of a Portland defender on their side of the field in the 26th minute. This time the victim was Timbers FC captain Jack Jewsbury. The turnover instantly put Fabian Castillo in alone against Kwarasey. The winger sped into the area before lifting a cheeky chip shot over the goalkeeper’s head to make it 2-0 Dallas.

The whooping was on only three minutes later as Akindele made it four straight matches with either a goal or an assist when he hammered home a shot from 15 yards out in the 29th minute. The play began with Maynor Figueroa sending in a cross from the left flank. Kwarasey got a hand on the pass, sending it out as far as the top of the box, where a mishit from Castillo ended up at the feet of Akindele. The Canadian international pounded the ball on net, through the legs of Kwarasey and off a Timbers FC defender before the ball slowly rolled over the goal line to give Dallas a 3-0 lead at the half hour mark.

The match was pretty much settled from there.  Dallas keeper Chris Seitz was forced into a couple of important interventions before a missed hand ball allowed Portland to pull one back in the 67th minute through sub Darren Mattocks.  That would be all she wrote though as FCD grabbed an impressive road victory.  The win sets up a showdown between the current top two teams in the MLS West on Sunday when Sporting KC visits a sold out Toyota Park.