Montreal scored the game’s first goal in the 61st minute, but Dallas tied it in the 77th on Blas Perez’s team-leading third goal of the year.
Dallas beat New England 1-0 a week ago in the dying moments of stoppage time. Shea’s goal came with a comparatively comfortable margin.
“I thought it was really a difficult game for both teams. The wind conditions made it difficult to settle the ball down,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “A lot of physical play and it just seemed like it was very disruptive and neither team could get a grip on the ball. A very good result for us, we played a very good team that are still trying to find their way.”
The expansion Impact are winless in five road games, though this one was closer than the others, in which they were outscored 10-2.
“We, at this point, have to figure out how to get leads and how to hold onto them. That’s the only way you can be successful,” Montreal coach Jesse Marsch said. “There was a lot of good play in there. We defended well against the wind in the first half. We were organized and hard to play against. But when we went up 1-0, it just wasn’t a solid enough job of taking care of plays, of 11 guys being very hard to play against and just taking care of things.”
After leading Dallas in scoring with 11 goals last year, Shea hadn’t yet found the back of the net this season. But after receiving a short pass from Fabian Castillo in the middle, Shea charged into the penalty area and drilled a 15-yard shot underneath Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who came out to challenge him
“He’s been really working hard in training and the stress and the pressure of the Olympic team and then the national team, all the traveling,” Hyndman said of Shea. “It was really great to see him spark through with that energy and what a great finish.”
On Perez’s goal, Daniel Hernandez’s free kick from about 20 yards out on the right flank found George John on the far side of the penalty area for a leaping header that bounced off the top of the crossbar. The ball ricocheted right to Perez five yards out for a header that made it just inside the right post.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made a spectacular diving save in the 87th minute, punching out a 25-yard blast from Zarek Valentin, preserving the tie game and setting the stage for Shea’s winner a minute later.
“It’s something we need to work on,” Ricketts said of losing the lead in the final 23 minutes. “When we get the lead we need to make sure we keep our cool and relax. We were still in a rush. We need to settle down and take control of the game. We let them back on the game.”
Montreal went ahead on a penalty by Bernardo Corradi. It was called in the 60th minute as John and Zach Loyd covered Montreal’s Davy Arnaud in the penalty area. Just as a long cross sailed in their direction, Loyd’s legs appeared to clip Arnaud, who went down and drew the call. Corradi drilled the ball into the upper left corner for his first goal of the season.
“I thought what they called on Zach was nothing compared to what happened to George down at the other end on an ensuing free kick,” Hartman said. “To come back when you have to fight, really against everything.”
Dallas stormed back after that, generating several top-notch scoring chances, including one in the 66th minute when Bobby Warshaw’s 15-yard shot was blocked just off the goal line by Montreal defender Shavar Thomas.
Hartman seemed to injure his right hand just before the final whistle blew after getting his hand kicked while corralling the ball.
Dallas controlled the play for much of the first half, generating several scoring chances while outshooting the Impact 3-1.
Their best chance of the half came just eight minutes in when Hernandez’s corner kick found Perez on the far side of the goalie box for a header that bounced down and on its way back up, Ricketts got just enough of it with his right hand to deflect the ball just over the crossbar.
Dallas had another prime opportunity in the 45th minute when Castillo chased down a long pass from Perez, and rushed into the right side of the penalty area, but Ricketts charged out at him and made a nice save swallowing up Castillo’s point-blank shot.
He wouldn’t be as successful against Shea later on.
“I think it’s just good the team got a win,” Shea said. “It doesn’t matter really who scores but I’m glad the team won.”
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