FC Dallas wins contentious matchup with Sporting KC

FC Dallas

(Kansas City, Kan.  September 19, 2020)FC Dallas defeated Sporting KC after two second-half mistakes un-did Sporting’s positive work for most of the match. Ryan Hollingshead got the winner in the 86th minute, just three after Sporting KC equalized in through Johnny Russell. FC Dallas moves to third place in the Western Conference, with one game in hand on Sporting KC who sit one place, and one point above.

FC Dallas survives yellow, red card flurry in the second half to beat Sporting KC 3-2

In reality, the stage for what took place in the second half of the match was set with a very contentious non-penalty call in the first half. A long ball over the top was won by Khiry Shelton. He was dragged, bumped, clattered from behind by Matt Hedges, and still was able to get the ball past the on-rushing Jimmy Mauer, who collided with Shelton.

“Stonewall penalty,” said Russell, who immediately ran to head referee Alex Chilowicz to plead his case. “There is no justification that you could ever give me, that [the collision] isn’t a penalty. I just genuinely don’t understand how that isn’t a foul.”

Per the pool reporter process, the question of why no foul call was posed to the referee crew. The following answer was given:

“In the opinion of the referee, the goalkeeper of FCD had established his position well before Khiry Shelton knocked the long ball past him. The goalkeeper made no movement to interfere with Shelton, who then collided with the keeper in what the referee deemed to be a coming together of two players without foul play.”

Johnny Russell didn’t buy that explanation.

“…The answer I was given was, ‘How is the Goalkeeper more at fault than Khiry?’” Russell said. “Well, because Khiry gets there first, knocks the ball around him, and the goalkeeper wipes him out. You tell me anywhere, any league, that isn’t a penalty…I’ll show you a liar.”

The first half continued without incident until Franco Jara got FC Dallas on the scoresheet just minutes before halftime. John Nelson’s cross from wide left was lazily watched by the Sporting KC backline. Jara reacted fastest to the cross and his semi-diving header was sent past Tim Melia.

Sporting KC brought on Ilie Sanchez, and took of Gerso Fernandes at halftime. Immediately on the restart, another defensive mental lapse by Sporting KC allowed FC Dallas to double their lead. On a not-so dangerous corner-kick, Ilie Sanchez chose to clear the ball to the center of the 18 yard box, where Franco Jara happily obliged, nudging the ball to past Melia. 2-0 Dallas inside 50 minutes.

Sporting KC clawed their way back though, thanks to two Johnny Russell goals on set pieces. The first came as a very quick response to Dallas’ second when a Sporting KC corner in the 53rd minute pinged around the box to Russell, who slotted home off the inside of the post. Russell Equalized in the 83rd minute with a glancing header from close range of Gianluca Busio’s perfectly played free-kick.

But that’s when the mayhem really started to come to a head. Prior to the equalizer, FC Dallas received four yellow cards in a three-minute span. Three for time-wasting and unsporting behavior while another went to Luchi Gonzalez for being warned for what seemed like the 10th time to stay in his coaching area.

Then, almost immediately, as Sporting KC pushed numbers forward, an awkward aerial duel on the left sideline led to Sporting KC moving the ball around the back-line while Michael Barrios pressed. Zusi’s backpass was well short of Tim Melia, and while Melia could save Barrios shot, Ryan Hollingshead followed up to place it into an empty net.

Nearing stoppage time, Bryan Acosta was given his second yellow for time-wasting and “unsporting behavior” and sent packing. He proceeded to take his sweet time getting off the field, which was duly noted by Alex Chilowicz, which could potentially land him an extra game suspension for failure to leave the field in a timely. Considering Chilowicz added two minutes of stoppage time just for that instance, it’s safe to assume one will be coming.

FC Dallas will play struggling Atlanta United on Wednesday night, while Sporting KC will play host to Orlando City the same evening.