FC Dallas 1, Colorado Rapids 2

TORONTO – FC Dallas took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute on a goal by David Ferreira, only to see the Colorado Rapids score two unanswered goals to claim their first MLS Cup Championship with a 2-1 victory in Toronto Sunday night.

Despite controlling the match for large stretches and out shooting the Rapids 17- 7, FC Dallas fell victim to an opportunistic Colorado side that was able to muscle two ugly goals past veteran goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player, Ferreira got FC Dallas off to a perfect start by scoring the first goal of the game in the 33rd minute. The play began with Colombian defender Jair Benitez switching the point of attack to Honduran midfielder Marvin Chavez on the right flank. Chavez brought the ball down to his feet with his chest and ran at a Colorado defender before picking out Ferreira, who was streaking down the center of the Rapid’s defense. Chavez’s well-timed cross required only the slightest of touches from Ferreira to beat goalkeeper Matt Pickens, putting Dallas up 1-0.

Colorado equalized on a Conner Casey goal in the 57th minute. Dallas defender Zach Loyd managed to disrupt a break-away opportunity but his clearance fell to the feet of Colorado’s Jamie Smith. Smith collected the ball on the left flank and dribbled into the six-yard box before delivering a cross in the direction of Casey. Hartman, FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez and Casey all collided in front of the goal, but Casey was the first to rise to his feet, knocking a ball past Hartman and Benitez, who were still on the ground.

FC Dallas and Colorado battled evenly through the remainder of regulation and through the first 15 minutes of overtime. Captain Daniel Hernandez, obviously hampered throughout the match by an injury to his left knee that will require off-season surgery, helped solidify FCD’s defensive midfield.

In the second overtime, Colorado’s final substitute Macoumba Kandji beat Benitez just inside the left side of the area before knocking a desperate cross attempt towards goal. Arriving late, defender George John partially blocked the cross, only to have it spin awkwardly over the head of Hartman and into the FC Dallas goal.

Dallas frantically threw players forward in an attempt to equalize, firing eight shots at Pickens in the final 15 minutes. Three of those eight shots were on goal and Pickens made two saves, including one on a turnaround shot from John that required the save of the game to preserve the 2-1 win for the Rapids.

FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jackson Goncalves (Zach Loyd 33), Dax McCarty, Marvin Chavez (Eric Avila 105), Brek Shea (Jeff Cunningham 64), Daniel Hernandez, David Ferreira, Atiba Harris.
Substitutes Not Used: Dario Sala, Eric Alexander, Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna.
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Atiba Harris, David Ferreira, Dax McCarty 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (David Ferreira 2); FOULS: 11 (Atiba Harris 4); OFFSIDES: 4 (David Ferreira 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (David Ferreira 5); SAVES: 5 (Kevin Hartman 5)
Colorado Rapids – Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace (Julien Baudet 92+), Brian Mullen, Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith (Wells Thompson 90), Omar Cummings (Macoumba Kandji 98), Conor Casey.

Substitutes Not Used: Ian Joyce, Quincy Amarikwa, Claudio Lopez, Scott Palguta.

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Pablo Mastroeni, Omar Cummings 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Jeff Larentowicz, Brian Mullen, Conor Casey 1); FOULS: 16 (Conor Casey 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 1 (Jamie Smith 1); SAVES: 5 (Matt Pickens 5)
Misconduct Summary:
COL – Anthony Wallace (caution; reckless tackle 41)
COL – Jamie Smith (caution; reckless tackle 51)
COL – Conor Casey (caution; reckless foul 84)
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution; reckless foul 84)

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Craig Lowery
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
Time of Game: 2:33
Weather: Clear, 43 degrees