FRISCO, Texas – Landon Donovan scored a hat trick, but Blas Pérez scored his second goal of the game in the dying minutes as FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy battled to a wild 3-3 draw in front of 18,161 at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday night.
Donovan scored his third goal of the night in the 82nd minute, seemingly putting the Galaxy up for good. But Pérez answered four minutes later to rescue a point for Dallas, who snapped a five-game scoreless drought in style yet couldn’t manage to win for the first time in 10 games.
FC Dallas put an end to their franchise-record scoreless streak in the 14th minute off a corner kick by David Ferreira. The ball found George John at the far post, and the big defender headed it down in front of goal as LA ‘keeper Carlo Cudicini tripped. Center back Matt Hedges had no problem heading home the loose ball to put the hosts out in front and ending FCD’s goalless spell at 464 minutes, the ninth-longest in MLS history.
The lead didn’t last to the break, however, as Donovan converted his first chance of the game in second-half stoppage time on what would turn out to be his night in Frisco. Robbie Keane collected the ball inside the center circle, looked up and caught Donovan’s eye, sending a looping ball over the top as the three-time World Cup veteran turned on the jets.
With only Chris Seitz to beat, Donovan headed the ball just over the Dallas ‘keeper and into the path of the open net, then tapped it in for the easy finish.
FC Dallas answered out of halftime, however, as second-half substitute Michel supplied set pieces for both of the hosts’ subsequent strikes. Just three minutes into the second frame, the Brazilian targeted the far post on a 25-yard free kick, and Pérez – in an offside position, according to replays – was able to toe-poke the ball past Cudcini to put Dallas back in front.
But the two-time defending champs answered in the 73rd minute when Donovan hit a bouncing ball on the half-volley from 19 yards out that Seitz just missed. Donovan secured the hat trick minutes later when he beat John to a loose ball in the box and easily placed the ball into the far corner for his first hat trick since 2008.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Pérez scored the equalizer in the 86th minute off a failed clearance after another free kick by Michel. Replays this time showed John in an offside position twice, both on the free kick and the eventual goal, but Pérez’s stunning volley stood as the point-saver for FCD.
With the draw, FC Dallas missed an opportunity to leapfrog back into playoff position in the Western Conference. They move to 8-6-9 and will look to snap their 10-game winless spell on August 17 at Portland.
The Galaxy, meanwhile, also missed a chance to vault of up the Western table and move to 10-9-4. They next host Real Salt Lake, also on August 17.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
Rank Player What We Saw 1 Landon Donovan (LA)
Score a hat trick, you’re among the Men of the Match — LD was his classic self in a ruthless performance. 2 Erick (DAL)
Brazilian was the perfect pace-maker in his debut, curtailing LA’s attack; curious decision by Schellas Hyndman to lift him in the second half, and Galaxy made him pay for it. 3 Blas Pérez (DAL)
“Super Ratón” did what he does best: put the ball in the net at all costs. Neither of his goals should have stood, but he did what he’s paid to do in a big performance.