Friday, March 24, 2017

MLS Review: High-flying Dallas return to form, mixed day for Baptista

SoccerNews in MLS 17 Jul 2016

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FC Dallas returned to winning ways after seeing off Chicago Fire, while former Brazil international Julio Baptista opened the scoring and missed a penalty in Orlando City’s draw at Vancouver Whitecaps.

After being humbled 5-0 by Seattle Sounders in MLS midweek, Western Conference-leading Dallas bounced back via a 3-1 victory against the Fire on Saturday.

First-half goals from Maximiliano Urruti and Mauro Diaz put Dallas in the box seat at Toyota Stadium – the pair scoring within 18 minutes of each other.

Substitute Arturo Alvarez pulled a goal back for the Fire in the 91st minute, only for Mauro Rosales to restore Dallas’ two-goal advantage one minute later.

Dallas are three points clear atop the standings, though they have played three matches more than Colorado Rapids.

The Rapids ended a run of three consecutive draws with a 1-0 win at home to Sporting Kansas City.

Marlon Hairston came off the bench and broke the deadlock with 12 minutes remaining as the Rapids extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games.

It was a mixed outing for Baptista following Orlando’s 2-2 draw in Vancouver.

Baptista put Orlando ahead in the 14th minute – his third MLS goal – but the Whitecaps hit back with two goals before half-time courtesy of Gabriel Mezquida and Masato Kudo.

Cyle Larin restored parity five minutes into the second half and Baptista had the opportunity to give Orlando the lead on the hour-mark but he skied his penalty high and wide.

It was also a big night for 15-year-old Alphonso Davies, who made his MLS debut for Vancouver.

Elsewhere, Fabian Espindola scored an 89th-minute equaliser as DC United held 10-man Columbus Crew to a 1-1 draw, while Real Salt Lake and New England Revolution played out a scoreless stalemate.

In San Jose, the nine-man Earthquakes overcame Toronto FC 2-1 for their first league win since May – a run of seven matches.

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