MLS: Emiliano Bonfigli shines, lifts RSL to draw at FCD
Frisco, TX, United States (AHN Sports) – After having one previous very short appearance on the season, newcomer Emiliano Bonfigli took advantage of another chance this time by scoring the equalizer in the 72nd off the bench, lifting Real Salt Lake to a 1-1 draw with the FC Dallas Wednesday night.
It was the first Major League Soccer goal for Bonfigli, who netted within three minutes of his 69th-minute introduction.
The 24-year-old Argentine striker, who saw 21 minutes of action after entering the match for Paulo Jr., was able to track down Will Johnson’s feed before confidently slotting a low shot past Dallas keeper Chris Seitz.
The short-handed Real Salt Lake struggled offensively in the first half, failing to post a single shot on goal in the opening period after the fifth minute.
The Claret-and-Cobalt, who were missing the services of star striker Fabian Espindola along with another RSL regular, Jamison Olave, the 2010 MLS Defender of the Year, had their best scoring chance in the second minute, when Paulo Jr. set up Alvaro Saborio from outside the box but the attempt was thwarted by Seitz.
Both Espindola and Olave were sent off in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes via red cards.
FC Dallas, which was also missing one of its key players, Blas Perez, managed to dominate the opening half and led through Break Shea’s penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Perez, the Hoops’ leading scorer, was suspended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee Tuesday following an elbow hit on opponent Jordan Harvey in the 29th minute of FC Dallas’ 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday.
It marked the first win by RSL at FC Dallas. The Claret-and-Cobalt entered Wednesday match, having lost in 17 league games all-time in the Lone Star State.
Real Salt Lake, which has played two games more than Western Conference leaders San Jose, moved to 5-3-1 on the year. RSL has 16 points just like the Earthquakes.
Real is expected to ride the momentum and end its winless streak Saturday, when it welcomes the struggling Toronto FC at Rio Tinto Stadium.
FC Dallas, on the other hand, moved to 3-3-2 on the campaign. The Hoops will play at the Galaxy also on Saturday.