By: Anthony Miller
Ten days removed from their last match, FC Dallas snaps their two match losing streak as they take down the defending MLS champions LAFC 2-0 Saturday night.
The first half was not the start FC Dallas was hoping for offensively possessing the ball 41% of the time. They didn’t have many chances, but their defense came up with some nice stops to prevent any goals from coming in. FC Dallas ended the first half with a 0-0 tie against LAFC.
Their second half was more of the same with possessing the ball even less on offense. The big difference was the advantage they took when they had shots. Bernard Kamungo started the scoring for FC Dallas with a goal in the 56th minute off the assist from Nkosi Tafari giving FC Dallas the 1-0 advantage.
That goal gave them more momentum as they started to play more aggressively on defense and create more opportunities on offense. In the 90th minute, FC Dallas put the game away thanks to a brilliant strike by Sam Junqua from the top of the box off the assist by Tsiki Ntsabeleng to seal the match at 2-0.
FC Dallas increases their record to eight wins, seven losses, and five draws which is 29 points in the standings. At the conclusion of the results from Saturday night, FC Dallas moved up two spots in the standings to fifth place in the Western Conference. The win ends a four-match losing streak for the club and now within three points of the second-place LAFC.
Full Analysis of the FC Dallas-LAFC Matchup
FC Dallas Impresses Without Jesus Ferreira
It was not all smooth for FC Dallas offensively as they finished the match possessing the ball 37 percent of the game. They only shot the ball seven times with only two being on goal. FC Dallas was not able to be aggressive on offense and retain possession for long.
What made the difference in the game was how they took advantage of shot opportunities which LAFC was not able to do. Both shots on goal went in for FC Dallas. Head coach Nico Estevez credits adjustments as key to their success in the win.
“I think we did a good job of changing the formation and changing the way we were pressing, the way we’re attacking. And it helped us. It helped us a lot. In the second half, we did a better job and we also had the opportunity to score two goals.”
Scoring two goals was impressive for FC Dallas especially since they didn’t have their top scorer Jesus Ferreira in the lineup as he is playing with the USA Men’s Soccer Team. The offense could have done a better job of taking the pressure off of the defenders and goalkeeper Maarten Paes, but they were opportunistic in their shots.
FC Dallas Players Becoming Unlikely Heroes
Young 21-year-old forward Bernard Kamungo shined in his first MLS start for FC Dallas as he played aggressively and was running all over the pitch for them. Kamungo scored his second goal of the season for FC Dallas which is tied for second on the club. He caught the attention of Coach Estevez.
“I think Bernard is a player that has something special. You can see that he still has a lot of things to develop because he didn’t have the same pathway that other players.“
His story is incredible going from his birthplace of Tanzania to Abilene, Texas to play high school soccer just a few years ago. He would sign with North Texas FC after a tryout in 2021 before signing a four-year contract with FC Dallas last year. Coach Estevez knows Kamungo has something special with development still needed in his game.
“I think he still has to learn, but he has the special things in the special moments that he can shine and score. This is why he started. I think he has be progressing and he has earned it.”
Former Houston Dynamo FC defender Sam Junqua was impressive in his first start with FC Dallas this season. Junqua was strong on the defensive side helping the team hold LAFC to a goose egg on the scoreboard. His goal in the 90th minute was a thing of beauty as he scored his first goal of the season. With the injuries FC Dallas has this season, it was impressive to see new players step up to the occasion and still produce three points in the standings.
Featured Image via Twitter (@FCDallas)