FRISCO — It was a must-win game, and FC Dallas won it emphatically, topping the rival Houston Dynamo 5-1 on Sunday night to earn three points and stay in the playoff hunt.
With 10 minutes still to play, many of the traveling Dynamo supporters made their way toward the exit with the home crowd launching a “bye-bye, Houston,” chant.
The fans remaining in the section were able to cheer a late consolation goal from Memo Rodriguez, but even that did little to spoil the celebratory mood in Toyota Stadium.
The victory pushes FCD to the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with six games to play in the regular season. However, coach Luchi Gonzalez’s team can’t rest, with the Portland Timbers three points back for the final spot and having played two fewer games than FCD.
Still, Gonzalez is thrilled with Sunday night’s performance, with the team getting goals from Reto Zielger, Jesus Ferreira and a pair of goals from Zdenek Ondrasek.
FCD went into the locker room already up 2-0 thanks to goals from Ziegler and Ferreira.
Ferreira scored one of the best goals seen at Toyota Stadium in recent memory. Zdenek Ondrasek touched the ball toward the center circle in the 29th minute and Ferreria turned on the jets to take possession and get forward.
Michael Barrios ran with him but rather than play in the winger, Ferreria moved to his left foot to beat Dynamo defender Aljaz Struna and then fired a shot into the goal to complete a marvelous individual move.
The match had started off slowly, with the visitors having a bit better chances. Their best effort came in the 20th minute when Alberth Elis got free on a counter-attack and put in a shot on Gonzalez, but the goalkeeper made the stop.
Three minutes later, FCD forward Dom Badji was dragged down in the box by Jose Bizama, with referee Armando Villarreal pointing to the penalty spot.
Ziegler stepped up to the mark and converted, sending his shot to Joe Willis’ left and opening the scoring for FCD.
In the second, it was mostly one-way traffic, as FCD continued to get past a Houston team that fired its manager earlier this month and whose playoff hopes are fading.
Ondrasek adding onto his debut MLS goal last week with a double. The first came in the 56th minute with Ryan Hollingshead running onto a ball played into space by Michael Barrios and whipping in a cross with his left foot. “The Cobra” rose to head in the goal and extend the lead to 3-0.
He was back on the scoresheet in the 64th minute with Badji able to beat his defender into the box and put a cross in that Ondrasek directed into the box.
FCD thought it had its fifth goal of the match late, with Ferreira putting the ball in the back of the net after a setup from Paxton Pomykal, who came into the match as a substitute instead of his usual starting role. Villarreal went to the VAR monitor, however, and called the goal back because of fellow substitute Ricardo Pepi being caught in an offside position when the ball came in.
The fifth fell in stoppage time, though. Barrios worked his way through the Dynamo back line only to have the ball come away from his feet. He lifted his arm to appeal for a penalty but then realized a mess of a clearance had fallen right to his feet. The Colombian finished past Willis to apply the finishing touch to the rout.
Next weekend brings another opportunity for FCD to pick up three more points with FC Cincinnati, the last-place team in the league, set to make its first-ever visit to Frisco.