Hoops Continue Their Hot Streak

FC Dallas edged out a 1-0 win over a defiant Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park to stretch their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Young Brek Shea scored the lone goal of the match with less than 20 minutes to go to give all three points to the Hoops as they pulled closer to securing a playoff spot.

Chances were always going to be a premium due to the sweltering heat and humidity, but the first real opportunity of the match went to FC Dallas.

David Ferreira did well to shield the ball, which led to him being tugged down just outside of the Chivas’ area, but the ensuing free-kick from Daniel Hernández was poor and did not even make it passed the wall.

FCD began to dictate the play, but they did not do enough create any clear cut chances – their best effort came from the right foot of Shea, but his shot was drilled directly at Zach Thorton and Chivas cleared the danger.

A poor clearance from the FC Dallas’ defense led to Goats’ best opportunity, but Justin Braun blazed well-over from the corner of the penalty box.

FC Dalls got into a very dangerous position down the left hand side, but the combination of poor passing, miss kicks and block shots by the Chivas’ defenders saw the great opportunity come to nothing.

The proper positioning of Kevin Hartman enabled him to easily thwart Darío Delgado’s near post blast out for a throw-in.

The first booking of the match came Atiba Harris hard, but fair tackle on Rodolfo Espinoza was deemed to be worthy of a yellow card by the referee, Paul Ward.

Chivas started to come out of their shell towards the end of the first-half, but they resorted to only a long-range effort from Giancarlo Maldonado, which was always tailing away from Hartman’s left-hand post.

The scoreline was still goalless at half-time, but the whistle for the break was welcomed by both sides to get a break from the heat.

The second-half started similarly to the first as Delgado conceded a foul just outside of the Chivas’ penalty area, but he has his goalkeeper to thank, because Thorton’s big hand denied Milton Rodríguez’s left-footed curling effort.

Jonathan Bornstein, was pushed into the midfield as Martin Vasquez brought on Carlos Borja for Justin Braun at half-time to give the Chivas’ captain more of free role to get forward to try create more opportunities.

The change almost paid immediate dividends, but a good block by a FC Dallas defender denied Bornstein’s goal-bound effort.

Schellas Hyndman’s first change was the introduction of Jeff Cunningham for Rodríguez to inject more pace into the Hoops’ attack, and within five minutes the second all-time leading scorer in MLS history hammered a shot just wide of the near post.

The breakthrough finally came for FC Dallas as Shea headed home Jair Benítez’s farpost cross in the 71st minute.

Within a minute of the Toros’ goal, Chivas was in a whisker of equalizing, but Espinoza’s shot from long distance rattled the stanchion behind the goal.

Hartman showed his true worth to FCD as he made two very good back-to-back saves to deny Chivas the equalizer – first tipping Michael Umaña’s header over the bar and then an acrobatic one-handed save on Delgado’s close-range header.

With Chivas pushing forward in search of the tying goal, it opened up the match and created massive amounts of space for FC Dallas to break into, but their few chances came to no avail.

Alan Gordon showed his frustrations and earned himself a place in Ward’s book when push George John into the advertising boards, but to be fair to the former Los Angeles Galaxy star, the FCD defender made the most of it.

Jackson, who replaced the goal scorer Shea, crept up to the area with the ball and finally unleashed a rising shot which Thorton did well to save.

Paulo Nagamura gave FCD a great chance to pad their lead when his brash challenge, which earned a yellow card, gave the home side a chance from 19-yards out, however, Ferreira’s tame free-kick went well-over the Chivas’ bar.

Brek Shea was a constant threat down the right-hand channel, and was deserving of being the lone goal scorer of the match.

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