FC Dallas extended their current winning run to three games on Friday night with a 1-0 road victory at Avaya Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Forward Maxi Urruti scored the game’s only goal in the 51st minute via a superb bicycle kick to beat goalkeeper David Bingham and ensure that FC Dallas would stay top of both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings for another gameweek.
Manager Oscar Pareja named an unchanged starting 11 from Monday night’s 4-0 home win against Orlando City, although midfielder Mauro Rosales was named to the match day roster for Friday’s game.
Despite the strong lineup put out by Pareja, it was the Earthquakes who began the match the brighter of the two sides.
Midfielder Anibal Godoy nearly sent San Jose into the lead after just six minutes, but his curling free kick was saved well by goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who was seeking a third consecutive shutout in net for FC Dallas.
The visitors’ first chance arrived through good link up play from midfielder Mauro Diaz and Urruti, with the former playing the latter in on goal with a terrific through ball from the halfway line. Urruti’s shot on goal was pushed onto the post by Bingham, as the San Jose goalkeeper did just enough to keep the match scoreless.
San Jose were also able to strike the woodwork during the game’s first half, with Godoy again the player who came close to opening the scoring.
Once again it was a promising free kick that led to Godoy’s scoring chance, with the Panamanian’s attempt on goal hitting the crossbar after beating Seitz to his right side.
The FC Dallas goalkeeper was called into action once more before the halftime whistle blew, this time at his near post to deny Shea Salinas’ side-footed effort off a cross. The performance of Seitz and some misfortune with the crossbar denied San Jose a deserved first half lead, as they appeared the more eager of the two teams going forward.
Urruti’s effort and a Diaz shot that was parried by Bingham were the only FC Dallas attempts of note in the opening 45 minutes, although they began the second half in rampaging fashion.
A cross from Diaz found a streaking Michael Barrios at the back post, but the midfielder’s attempt at a volley across the goalmouth was partially cleared by San Jose defender Marvell Wynne. The ball then dropped perfectly for Urruti, who had plenty of time to size up and execute his overhead kick, smashing the ball past a scrambling Bingham to give FC Dallas a 51st minute lead.
Urruti could have had his second of the game in quick succession as well, with the Argentinian striking the post from close-range just minutes after his spectacular goal. If not for striking the post twice on much simpler attempts than his bicycle kick, Urruti would have been lined up for a hat-trick on the night.
But Urruti and FC Dallas would have to settle for just his lone goal against San Jose, who tried desperately in the final 30 minutes of the match to grab an equalizer.
Defender Walker Zimmerman provided several crucial clearances and blocked shots to keep the San Jose offense at bay. The 23 year-old center back continued his good form by winning virtually every header he contested inside the Dallas penalty area, severely limiting the aerial attack of the Earthquakes.
Left back Maynor Figueroa also had one of his best games in an FC Dallas uniform on Friday night, although Seitz was still needed in the second half to secure the victory.
San Jose did have the ball in the back of the net on one occasion just past the hour mark of the match, but referee Juan Guzman ruled that Seitz had been fouled while trying to catch a cross prior to the goal.
The home side was unable to muster much as the minutes wound down, with defender Matt Hedges’ clearance following a scramble in the penalty box ending San Jose’s last chance at goal.
The FC Dallas victory ended San Jose’s home unbeaten run at 13 matches, a streak that dated back to last season. FC Dallas reaches 37 points and improves their record to 11-4-5 (W-D-L) with the result.
The team has now scored seven goals while allowing zero in their last three matches, with Seitz recording consecutive shutouts against Real Salt Lake, Orlando City and now San Jose.
FC Dallas will play next on Wednesday night when they face the Seattle Sounders, currently bottom of the Western Conference with 17 points, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.