FC Dallas Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive

FC Dallas 2, Rapids 1

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R, Back to Front Row) Jeff Cunningham #9, Atiba Harris #16, goalkeeper Dario Sala #44, George John #14, Dave van den Bergh #7, Ugo Ihemelu #3, Pablo Ricchetti #6, Marvin Chavez #17, David Ferreira #10, Dax McCarty #13 and Jair Benitez #5 of FC Dallas pose for a team photo prior to the MLS match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on September 12, 2009 in Carson, California. FC Dallas defeated the Galaxy 6-3. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

    Defender Ugo Ihemelu scored in the 66th minute and FC Dallas beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Saturday night to keep its playoff hopes alive.

      With its fifth win in six games, Dallas (11-12-6) has 39 points to tie Toronto, New England and DC United for the final playoff spot in MLS.
     
    Colorado (10-9-10) remained in playoff position, but is 0-2-4 in its last six and 0-5-4 on the road since May 30.
     
    Ihemelu, who joined Dallas after a trade from Colorado on Aug. 31, scored his first goal of the season and just the second of his MLS career -- in his 123rd game -- to put Dallas up 2-0.
     
    Coming off a free kick by Dax McCarty from about 35 yards, Atiba Harris headed the ball toward Ihemelu as he charged the left post. Ihemelu managed to get his right foot on the ball, which then bounced off goalkeeper Preston Burpo, off the post and just over the goal line.
     
    Pat Noonan notched his second goal of the year in the 71st minute to pull the Rapids back within one. After making a deft move to slip past Ihemelu, Noonan boomed a shot from just inside the penalty area that beat Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala just inside the left post.
     
    Despite thoroughly dominating the action almost all night, missing on several glorious opportunities, Dallas still had to sweat out the final minutes.
     
    FC Dallas controlled the early portion of the match, taking the lead in the fourth minute on rookie defender George John's first MLS goal.
     
    This goal also was set up by a free kick, with Dave van den Bergh lofting the ball from just outside the penalty area into the middle and John heading it past Burpo.
     
    The assist was van den Bergh's 11th, second in the MLS to Colorado's Omar Cummings.