De Guzman’s late tally powers FC Dallas over Vancouver
Frisco, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Midfielder Julian de Guzman buried a 25-yard volley in the dying seconds of stoppage time as FC Dallas kept its playoff hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over the slumping Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday in front of 17,685 fans at FC Dallas Stadium.
A midseason acquisition from Toronto FC, De Guzman knocked down a Fabian Castillo corner kick and lashed a volley past goalkeeper Brad Knighton to help FC Dallas close in on the Whitecaps for the fifth and final spot in the playoff.
Dallas notched three points for the victory to trim the Whitecaps’ lead for the last Western Conference playoff spot to just one point. The Whitecaps, for their part, have suffered their fifth straight setback.
“I was in the position to pick up whatever comes out and I was able to have enough time to put it on my chest and get a left-footed shot in,” de Guzman said. “Once I saw it hit the back of the net, dreams came true.”
“It’s heartbreaking,” Knighton said, referring to de Guzman’s last-second goal. “We felt like we deserved something from the game. Everyone’s just gutted right now. I felt like we put together a good performance overall and it was one lapse at the end and it’s 1-0 for them.”
Knighton also questioned game officials for allowing six minutes of injury time for just one stoppage in the second half.
“Six minutes of injury time for one stoppage in the second half – there’s always going to be questions,” Knighton said. “There’s definitely not six minutes of stoppage time to fix a corner flag, so that’s a big question mark but ultimately we didn’t finish our chances,” Knighton added.
Before his last mistake, Knighton was the Whitecaps’ best player in the game, thwarting repeated attempts by FC Dallas to break the scoreless draw, including a spectacular denial of David Ferreira’s penalty kick 16 minutes into the game.
“I felt like he is a pretty technical player who likes to put a bit of spin on the ball,” Knighton said. “I felt like he was going to try and curl it in, so I just guessed and got a hand on it.”
Vancouver nearly scored in the 84th minute as second-half substitute Russell Teibert sent a cross that bounced to John Thorrington but goalie Kevin Hartman was there to foil the attempt.
Dallas will have two weeks to prepare for its next opponent — San Jose on Sept. 29 — while the Whitecaps return home after a month on the road as Colorado visit BC Place Sept. 23.