Leigh Anne Gullett
(ISN) – FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas picked up a 3-2 win over Toronto FC behind a brace from Fabian Castillo in a match officially lasting four hours and 29 minutes after a lightning delay halted play towards the end of the first half.
FC Dallas Homegrown defender Moises Hernandez found Castillo down the left flank and the speedy Colombian attacked the near post, beating TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik just 29 seconds into the match for the fastest MLS goal in FC Dallas team history.
Less than 10 minutes later, it was Castillo for Dallas once again after Blas Perez played a ball from the right side through the top of the box to find the midfielder who netted his second goal of the night, eventually earning Budweiser Man of the Match honors for his efforts.
Jozy Altidore almost pulled one back for the visitors in the 26th minute, slipping a low, hard shot through three defenders, but Chris Seitz reacted quickly, dropping to his knees to block the attempt. Mere seconds later, Perez made it 3-0 in favor of the home side after Ryan Hollingshead pressured Toronto FC into a turnover that the savvy veteran was able to pick up and deposit from the right side.
Despite a comfortable lead, Dallas continued to pressure and attack. Making his first start for the club, Michael Barrios had a good look at goal in the 42nd minute when weather caused half the stadium lights to flicker out as he was shooting. His attempt went wide left and play was suspended seconds later because of heavy rain and lightning.
For nearly three and a half hours, both teams waited out the storms in their respective locker rooms with several false re-starts, warming up only to be sent back for more lightning in the area. Finally, at 11:42 p.m., with faithful few of the original 16,176 fans remaining, play resumed.
Former FC Dallas man Jackson almost put Toronto on the board in the 45th minute, but Zach Loyd was there to clear the shot off the line. Finally, more than four hours after the opening whistle and early into Sunday morning, Toronto FC found its way onto the scoreboard behind two flawless goals from Sebastian Giovinco. After receiving a pass just outside the top of the box, the Italian danced along the end line and chipped a ball in near post for his first goal of the night. Six minutes later, the former Juventus man chipped in another shot, this time on a free kick, hitting it perfectly over the wall.
Despite the late match heroics from Giovinco, Toronto FC couldn’t quite complete its comeback bid and FC Dallas managed to hang on to its lead through the end of regulation, improving to 4-2-1 on the year.
FC Dallas – Fabian Castillo (Moises Hernandez) 1
FC Dallas – Fabian Castillo (Blas Perez) 10
FC Dallas – Blas Perez 27
Toronto FC – Sebastian Giovinco (Nick Hagglund) 83
Toronto FC – Sebastian Giovinco 89
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Moises Hernandez, Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Fabian Castillo (Kellyn Acosta 90), Victor Ulloa, Michael Barrios (Tesho Akindele 66), Ryan Hollingshead (Atiba Harris 82), Michel, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Walker Zimmerman, Mauro Diaz, David Texeira.
Total Shots: 11 (Fabian Castillo 4) Shots on Goal: 5 (Fabian Castillo 3); Fouls: 12 (Moises Hernandez 3); Offsides: 0; Corners: 3 (Michel 2); Saves: 2 (Chris Seitz 2).
Toronto FC – Joe Bendik, Justin Morrow, Ashtone Morgan (Robbie Findley 86), Damien Perquis, Nick Hagglund, Michael Bradley, Jackson, Collen Warner, Jonathan Osorio (Luke Moore 68), Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco.
Substitutes Not Used: Benoit Cheyrou, Daniel Lovitz, Chris Konopka, Marco Delgado, Eriq Zavaleta.
Total Shots: 18 (Sebastian Giovinco 9) Shots on Goal: 4 (Sebastian Giovinco 3); Fouls: 15 (Damien Perquis 4); Offsides: 1 (Jackson 1); Corners: 4 (Giovinco and Bradley 2); Saves: 2 (Joe Bendik 2).
TOR – Michael Bradley (caution) 70
TOR – Nick Hagglund (caution) 80
TOR – Damien Perquis (caution) 90+1
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson, Mark Cahen
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi
Time of game: 4:29
FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja
On tonight’s game…
The first half for us was very good. The second half, I thought Toronto put us on our heels. They made it difficult for us in the end when we gave up those two goals, but credit to our players. We bounced back from a difficult situation from last week and that shows character. Tonight was a very hard test for a group that in difficult circumstances could collapse and we didn’t. We showed that we are on our feet and that this team has the character to make things happen. We’re proud.
On the weather delay…
It was unreal with all the delays to get to the second half. I have to give all my respect to the players from Toronto and ours. They warmed up 10 times today and that is very difficult. In the second half it was just all heart from both teams. Toronto had less to lose because they were down three goals and they threw bodies and complicated things for us in the end.
On what the team did during the weather delay…
During the first one, we tried to keep the team focused, not knowing there would be more. During the second one we just tried to keep them engaged with the game. That was the most difficult part. It’s difficult to get out on the field and then come back. We wanted to keep them mentally strong.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz
On the weather delay…
I think it equally affected both teams… it hurt the quality of the second half overall. For us, we had an advantage because we have our home advantage… we stayed hydrated and we had everything here for us. We had no excuse for not coming out to fight in the second half. Credit to the boys in the first half for coming out strong and going up by three so early on into the game.
On the Giovinco free kick goal…
I have to go back and look at my positioning… when a guy is able to put it in from 18 yards out you have to tip your hat to Giovinco. Our wall stayed tall… it is special when someone is able to put it in to the side netting from 18 yards out. The team will go back and look at video to see what we could have improved in the situation.
On field conditions…
The field was really wet at the start of the game… for us I think it wasn’t a big of a difference, although the field was softer during the second half because of the rain. Credit to the field staff because the field was playable… they helped us finish the game.
Toronto FC Head Coach Greg Vanney
On tonight’s game…
The first half was shocking, to say the least. Giving away a goal in 30 seconds is a situation we’ve talked about the entire week in training. The entire week we knew they were coming. Poor initial read by Nick (Hagglund), steps in, then he finds himself in a foot race and instead of just dropping hard, he’s looking over his shoulder and not gaining any speed, then he ends up in a footrace with a guy (Fabian Castillo) that’s very quick. It’s absurd because it was in a situation where we had lots of numbers forward, and they break away on us, which is silly. Second goal, same again. Just a poor read, poor choice, stepping forward and before we know it we’re down 2-0. The third goal we’re finding ways to get in each other’s way or give away goals and that was one of those instances of play that was cleaned up and should’ve been dealt with and then three seconds later we’re pulling it out of the back of our net. Aside from that, on the attacking side, I thought there were some decent combinations, but final product of making them come up with saves, we didn’t have too many. Then we had the stoppage and tried to regroup. It was a long break, but credit the guys for not bowing and coming out hard to compete for the remainder of the match. Quite frankly, we had enough chances to squeak something out there.
On the second half performance of Sebastian Giovinco…
Obviously he’s a special player in all aspects of going forward. His finishing was good, especially on the first goal which was incredibly cheeky. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that in this league. Somebody having that presence to be able to chip the ball over, but the first touch to get around the corner was unbelievable, really. But for me, it was a positive in that Seba really stepped up and took some things on his shoulders and said ‘I’m going to drive this team forward and I’m going at some people’ and I thought that, for us, needs to be a lesson of how we need to compete and go after things.
Was this the strangest night in MLS he has ever been a part of?
Yes, it’s definitely up there. The storms and throw in the fact we’re down 3-0 when all of it happens, then you have a long delay, a lot of question whether we’re actually going to play the game or not, how long we’re going to play because we actually went and warmed up twice and had lightning strikes within a couple of minutes of going out each time and had to come back. It’s a strange night, but the one thing to take away is the resiliency of the group. They stuck there and really came out to compete in the second half.
Toronto FC Midfielder Collen Warner
On tonight’s game….
A bit of Jekyll and Hyde, I think. The first half didn’t really go the way we planned it. It was poor execution on our part, and we have to get better. The boys came back and we showed some fight which is good.
On the three and a half hour rain delay…
I’ve never been part of anything so drawn out. It’s pretty difficult to stay occupied in the locker room, but I’m glad it finished tonight.