The 2014 MLS playoffs got underway last night as FC Dallas played host to the Vancouver Whitecaps at Toyota Stadium, with Dallas progressing thanks to a 2-1 victory.
It was an intense game as expected, with 42 fouls over the course of the game resulting in seven yellow cards and one red, as Sebastian Fernandez was sent off after the final whistle for his actions towards referee Mark Geiger.
Tesho Akindele opened the scoring for the home side in the first-half, but Erik Hurtado’s deflected shot tied the game in the 63rd minute, before a controversial penalty was awarded to Dallas ten minutes from time.
Kendall Waston was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball, despite his arms being by his side, and Michel confidently tucked away the resulting spot-kick, much to the disbelief of the Whitecaps players and fans alike.Embed from Getty Images
That was enough to seal the win for Dallas, but the performance of winger Fabian Castillo is what was the most encouraging thing to take forward.
The 22-year-old was excellent all night and he attempted an impressive seven dribbles – some feat considering the team only attempted nine in total, including Castillo’s seven.
Fabian Castillo showcases dribbling ability against Vancouver Whitecaps (via MLS on YouTube)
The exciting Colombian ended the regular season with ten goals and three assists, and if he can find his best form in the playoffs, Dallas has a real chance of going all the way to the MLS Cup.
He had more shots than any other teammate last night with three, and is certainly the main threat in this strong FC Dallas team.
They now prepare to host the Seattle Sounders in the first-leg of the Western Conference semi-final on Sunday night.
How important is Fabian Castillo to FC Dallas?