Frisco, TX- FC Dallas received Austin FC for the first Copa Tejas match-up, which favored the North Texas side 2-0.
Saturday night’s game was the first of three scheduled encounters between the two in this season. Both sides were keen on being the better Texas side.
FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez featured a similar lineup to their draw against Seattle during mid-week action. This time, he replaced Edwin Cerillo for Andres Ricaurte. Despite that change, every other player remained the same in hopes of beating their new state rivals.
First Half Action
In the game’s opening minutes, Austin FC was more threatening in their efforts for an early goal. As the match progressed, both sides found themselves constantly running into the opposing side’s defense.
The most clear-cut opportunity for FCD to score was a shot from Ricardo Pepi, whose effort went just wide off the target.
Second Half Glory
Luchi made some halftime substitutions to bring more pace and speed into their attacking efforts. Luchi brought Jader Obrian and Bryan Acosta on the field, replacing Paxton Pomykal and Andres Ricaurte, respectively.
Five minutes into the second half of the match, a great pass back from Szabolcs Schön to Ryan Hollingshead opened the scoring for FC Dallas. Hollingshead scored his second goal of the season and his sixteenth with FC Dallas during the regular season.
“I’m excited. I’m getting back on the scoresheet, making plays as a ten should do,” said Ferreira.
With tonight’s match, Ryan Hollingshead surpassed Zach Loyd with the fourth-most appearances (181) for FC Dallas.
On the 63rd minute of the match, Nkosi Tafari managed to steal the ball from the Austin defense and drove the attack with a quick pass to Schön, who sent his low pass for Jesus Ferreira to tap it against a beaten Austin keeper to extend their lead. Ferreira scored his second goal of the season.
“I knew to hit it back post, either it’s going in, or somebody was going to tap it in,” said Hollingshead.
Luchi Gonzalez commented on his team’s performance Saturday night:
“Credit to the boys for taking the initiative on wanting to improve- not working harder, but smarter, doing things simple, staying focused on the next moment.”
Luchi went on to add praises to Szabolcs Schön as he received the man of the match award.
“An assist for me is as important as a goal, credit to him, and congrats to him and helped get the team a result today.”
FC Dallas hosts two more extra games at Toyota Stadium, where they’ll receive the top two teams from the Western Conference. FCD hosts Sporting Kansas City on August 14 and Seattle on August 18.
These two matches are essential to Luchi’s success at home and must remain so undefeated at home. Things are starting to look well for Luchi and his players. Luchi has started picking up points on the road and has not lost any points at home. As a result of these positive results, they have slowly started climbing up the ranks.
The next time FC Dallas faces Austin FC will be when the team travels to the newly built Q2 Stadium on August 29, 2021.