By Clay Massey
Fabian Castillo came back with a bang in his return to the FC Dallas lineup after serving his four game suspension by setting up the game winning goal for Tesho Akindele in the 1-0 victory over Chivas USA. FC Dallas improved to 9-7-6 on the season where Chivas drops to 6-10-5. Dallas broke their road losing streak of eight games and extended the current unbeaten run to seven games.
FC Dallas came out in a 4-4-2 with Blas Perez and scorching-hot rookie Tesho Akindele up top. Chivas came out in a 4-2-3-1 with Erick “Cubo” Torres slotting in behind Leandro Barrera up top. Oscar Pareja made minor changes from the very defensive line-up he put out against Vancouver. Pareja went to the four back set and not five, like against Vancouver.
The only goal of the game came in the 49’ minute when Moises Hernandez found Fabian Castillo after a Chivas turn over. Castillo and Perez combined for a 1-2 at the top of the box, and Castillo found an oncoming Tesho Akindele across the face of goal to make it 1-0 to the hoops.
Castillo looked impressive in his return. He beat his defenders in one on one situations and made critical passes in the final third. Castillo got the assist on the only goal of the night. Castillo almost added a goal for himself, or maybe three. He was denied by a last ditch clearance by the Chivas defense, a quick re-flexing Dan Kennedy and finally the woodwork.
Chivas only had two clear cut chances on the night. The first came in the 76’ minute when Dallas keeper, Raul Fernandez, mishandled a high cross from Danny Toia, but it was cleared away quickly by the Dallas defense. Cubo Torres had an open header later, but put it over the bar in the 78’ minute. Fernandez saved all 4 shots on target and the defense earned their third clean-sheet in MLS league play.
It was not the prettiest game of FC Dallas’ season, but they got the job done. FC Dallas is now tied for third in the Western Conference with the LA Galaxy. LA Galaxy have three games in hand over FCD. FC Dallas host Colorado next at Toyota Stadium with a chance to go six points ahead of Colorado (8-8-6). Then, on Tuesday, FC Dallas host the Philadelphia Union in the Semi-finals of the U.S. Open Cup.