FC Dallas stuns Sporting KC at end to grab 2-2 tie
Jacobson scored in the 88th minute and Zimmerman followed with his first career MLS goal in the 90th to cap the stunning comeback for Dallas (8-3-5), which remains unbeaten at home this season at 7-0-2.
“We’ve had a great run at home here this year and it was something we stressed before the game, to keep that going,” said the 25-year-old Zimmerman, who was making just his fourth MLS appearance. “We wanted three points, but obviously we showed a lot of character by coming back from 2-0. It was really special to be part of that comeback and to get a point in that situation.”
Dallas remains atop the Western Conference standings, despite winning just once in its last five matches (1-2-2).
After Kei Kamara’s penalty kick goal in the 43rd minute and an own goal in the 58th, Kansas City (6-5-5) seemed to be in good shape, even after going down to 10 men following C.J. Sapong’s ejection in the 68th minute.
“I thought we were managing the game really well, and at that point, obviously, we got the red card and they were throwing a lot of numbers forward,” Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said. “It’s disappointing from the perspective that we put a lot of work into the game and I thought we had control of it.”
KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made four saves and appeared ready to earn his eighth shutout of the year.
“I think we had a good performance, for 88 minutes we did a very good job,” Nielsen said. “The last few minutes of the game, they put a lot of pressure on us, dumping balls into the box and anything can happen. Unfortunately, it went their way in the end.”
Dallas nearly won it in stoppage time, but Kenny Cooper’s 20-yard blast curled just wide of the right post.
“They get a PK, an own goal and where a lot of teams might have folded and disappeared, I thought we kept fighting,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “We were fortunate to pick up a red card and then our guys just went after them and really showed a lot of character. The players showed a lot of desire and determination to come back and score two late goals.”
The comeback was started by Ramon Nunez, who entered the game in the 74th minute and was making just his second appearance of the season. Jacobson’s header off Nunez’s delivery from 15 yards out beat Nielsen over the shoulder, landing in the upper right corner for his third goal of the season.
“I knew there was a lot of bodies in the box and someone had to get on the end of it,” said Nunez, who had logged just five minutes of action before Saturday’s game. “AJ was winning everything all night long and luckily, he got the goal to help us push on.”
Dallas kept pressing, and after David Ferreira’s free kick from near the right sideline sailed into the penalty area, Zimmerman headed it off Nielsen’s hand and in.
“I really had a clear path straight to the ball,” Zimmerman said. “A great ball put in by David and I just got my head on it and attacked it.”
Zimmerman had entered the match as a halftime replacement for defender Matt Hedges, who injured his right calf.
Kamara’s second goal of the season came in the 43rd minute on a penalty kick.
The PK was set up by a foul called on Jacobson, who grabbed Aurelian Collin’s arm as Graham Zusi’s free kick sailed into the box. Collin went down and the foul was called, just as Claudio Bieler popped the loose ball into the net. The goal was waved off, but the penalty kick was awarded.
Kamara then stepped up to the dot and drilled a shot into the upper left portion of the net, while Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez dove to the right.
Kansas City’s 1-0 lead marked just the second time this season Dallas trailed a game at the half.
Sporting went ahead 2-0 three minutes later when Zusi’s corner kick bounced past several players into the penalty area, hit Dallas defender Je-Vaughn Watson in the chest and ricocheted past Fernandez.
FC Dallas continued to press, forcing Nielsen to come up with a big save on Cooper’s 15-yard blast from the left wing in the 65th minute.
The complexion of the match changed three minutes later, when Sapong was shown a red card and ejected after kicking the ball at Jacobson’s head, who had just been knocked down and was lying on his back.
“It’s funny, I was actually trying to stop the ball from hitting him,” Sapong said. “The ball was coming really fast to him. I kind of saw it out of the corner of my eye and thought, `Oh, he’s on the ground. I’m going to try to get a touch before it hits him.’ I didn’t get there in time—it barely flicked my foot, and it hit him. The ref’s back was toward me.”
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