Things aren't always easy but for FC Dallas, they are moving on to the conference semifinals.
DAL - Tesho Akindele (Mauro Diaz) 40
VAN - Erik Hurtado 64
DAL - Michel (PK) 84
FC Dallas - Chris Seitz, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Je-Vaughn Watson, Michel, Victor Ulloa (Kellyn Acosta 76), Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz (Andres Escobar 79), Tesho Akindele, Blas Perez (Ryan Hollingshead 90+1).
Substitutes Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Moises Hernandez, Jair Benitez, David Texeira.
Total Shots: 8 (Fabian Castillo 3) Shots on Goal: 2 (Tesho Akindele, Michel 1); Fouls: 17 (Fabian Castillo 3); Offsides: 0; Corners: 3 (Michel 2); Saves: 3 (Chris Seitz 3).
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - David Ousted, Jordan Harvey, Kendall Waston, Andy O'Brien, Ethen Sampson, Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie (Nicolas Mezquida 87), Pedro Morales (Kekuta Manneh 58), Mauro Rosales, Sebastian Fernandez, Erik Hurtado (Darren Mattocks 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Paulo Tornaghi, Russell Teibert, Sam Adekugbe, Johnny Leveron.
Total Shots: 11 (Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh 3); Shots on Goal: 4 (Pedro Morales 2); Fouls: 25 (Kendall Waston 5); Offsides: 1 (Mauro Rosales 1); Corners: 3 (Mauro Rosales 3); Saves: 0.
VAN - Gershon Koffie (caution) 14
DAL - Je-Vaughn Watson (caution) 35
VAN - Pedro Morales (caution) 45
VAN - Kendall Waston (caution) 57
DAL - Mauro Diaz (caution) 85
VAN - Sebastian Fernandez (caution) 85
VAN - Sebastian Fernandez (ejection) 90+6
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: CJ Morgante, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Clear, 68 degrees
FC Dallas Head coach Oscar Pareja
Overall thoughts on the game...
First of all I want to remark on the support of our fans tonight. In the middle of the week they came to the stadium and put out the same energy we have seen the whole year. Congratulations go to the fans - I know that the players appreciated it a lot.
We found a game against a team that was very demanding with very a high energy level. We knew they would like to pressure us and, at the beginning, we hesitated to stretch the game in the way we wanted. The decision to bring Mauro in today changed the whole thing. I'm very happy to see Mauro back with the team - he's still getting his rhythm back but the first half we managed the game well. We had some options, but it was very cut with fouls and didn't flow for an entire 45 minutes. In a balance, I thought it was a good half for us.
In the second half it was more level for them, especially in the first 15 minutes. They brought energy and, though we wanted to keep doing the same job, for the first 15 minutes they put us on our heels. We wanted to take advantage and counter but couldn't and unfortunately their goal came on a play that we had faced before. We couldn't clear it from the middle, and then they set it up.
The boys reacted well, as they have done many times during the year. After the performance last Saturday that we didn't like, they came back today playing better soccer on the field, with better energy. We ended up winning a game that was well deserved - we deserve to be in the semifinals.
First Time in Four Years for Sunday Night Soccer in November
It feels pretty good and we're proud because we have a club that has been building for many years in the community. The effort from the ownership this year has been great and we want to reward them and the club for bringing the playoffs back to Frisco. That feeling is bigger now that we know we will bring Seattle here for the semifinals, which is a bigger reward for our community.
On Vancouver's Physicality
It was a very physical game. We knew it was a very physical team - we had the same experience when we played in Vancouver and this game had some similarities. There was also the urgency for both teams to avoid making mistakes in trying to make it or impose some presence on the field. That creates a lot of fouls and a lot of contact and we saw it. Sometimes the playoff games are like that, everyone is playing for inches, and tonight was not an exception.
Starting Mauro Diaz
We threw him a hard ball tonight and he showed us that he's prepared for it. He's recovering and he's trying to get his rhythm. In the last game, during the last 10 minutes, when we were starting to look tired and we couldn't find the ball against Portland, he came and turned the lights on for us. When Mauro is on the field, the lights are on more frequently.
FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele
Thoughts on his goal...
Mauro (Diaz) broke through like three guys to set me up. He is a great passer of the ball. Once he had the space, he got me the ball in a spot where I knew I would have a good angle on goal. He drew the defender and made a beautiful pass and I scored the goal. I just wanted to score. I was thinking "this was going to be a goal for sure," when I shot.
On rebounding after giving up the tying goal...
In the beginning of the first half they had a lot of momentum on their side. After our goal, we recovered nicely. It was all us after that. We were certain we were going to score another goal.
When asked about the upcoming match against Seattle...
It is going to be a tough match. They are obviously a good team but we have had a fantastic crowd right now. We are all feeling good and we are all looking forward to this game
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez
General thoughts on the game...
It was a difficult game. It was a playoff game with a lot of aggressiveness. I feel as though we controlled the game well all 90 minutes. We also ran with some luck during the penalty, which hit [the defender's] hand. Regardless, we are leaving here happy... We are going to the Western Conference Semifinals.
We all want to win. We are playing at home and we want to take advantage of this next game. It is going to be complicated because they are a big rival and they are one of the best in the league. We have a great team to face this challenge and we will be ready for Sunday.
When asked about the penalty...
When Michel is in the game, he is the first option to take the penalty. I did not attempt to take the penalty because I have confidence in him. We all knew that he was going to score because we all believe in him and he is a grand player when he is at the spot. I have had to take penalties before, but he is the first choice for the team. We knew he was going to score. I am very happy because he scored, because Tesho [Akindele] scored and the great work that everyone on the team put in tonight. I was also happy to see all of our supporters out tonight. Having the crowd behind us all night was huge.
FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd
Overall thoughts on the game...
It is everything you expect in a playoff game, both teams came out very aggressively. There were a lot of fouls committed. It was everything you look for in a playoff game with intensity and chances on both sides of the ball. We came out and executed our game plan very well. We ended up with a good result.
When asked about his mentality and positioning in the game...
The whole team came out with a mentality where we would go in hard on every 50-50 ball. For 90 minutes, you have to go on both sides of the ball going forward and getting back defensively. We came into this game with the mentality that if we lose then we go home. It gave us an extra kick. Overall, we all did well today and we executed the game plan very well.
When asked about Sunday's game against Seattle and the importance of the game...
From our standpoint, we are very excited for it. We got to the two-legged race now and being able to open up with Seattle at home is huge for us. Hopefully we come in and jump on them early. We hope to get the crowd behind us and get a good result.