Major League Soccer

Nico Estevez has no complaints as FC Dallas fall 2-1 at Vancouver Whitecaps

Chris Smith
Dallas threw away a 1-0 half-time lead.
Dallas threw away a 1-0 half-time lead. / Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
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FC Dallas' run had to end somewhere, right?

The Texas side have made a sensational start to 2022 and ahead of their trip to Vancouver on Wednesday, were enjoying a nine-game unbeaten run in MLS play.

As the whistle went to end the first half at BC Place, it looked like that run would be extended. Dallas had out-shot their hosts 7-3 in the first half while controlling 61% possession. Paul Arriola's go-ahead goal in the final moments was richly deserved.

But whatever Vanni Sartini did to inspire Vancouver at half-time worked as the Whitecaps took control of the game after the break. Dallas dug in, but Brian White finally broke through on 71 minutes, while Lucas Cavallini hit the winner from the penalty spot in the second minute of stoppage time.

Though he was pleased with the opening 45 minutes, Dallas head coach Nico Estevez had no complaints about the result, lamenting some shoddy defensive work from his team.

“The result was fair because we did not play well," Estevez told reporters after the match. "We had a decent first half where we could have scored more than one goal. We had good attacks and good runs behind their backline. We were able to penetrate and get in good positions, but the end product was not at our finest today.

"We went up 1-0 but we know Vancouver always shows a reaction and playing in their stadium is difficult. We gave away two goals through mistakes and not being in the right position.

"This is a good learning experience because winning on the road is difficult. We have to maintain that focus throughout the 90 minutes, and we have to play our 100% best to get a result on the road.”

Midfielder Paxton Pomykal was equally unimpressed with Dallas' second-half showing, but promised he and his teammates were taking 'accountability' to ensure there's a quick improvement.

“We’re not happy. We wanted six points on this road trip," he said. "In the first half, we did what we had to. But in the second half, they scored two goals and that’s something we’ll have to reflect on.

"The boys aren’t happy and rightfully so. We’re holding ourselves accountable and to a higher standard. We’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”

Despite the loss, Dallas remain third in the Western Conference, just a point behind joint-leaders Austin FC and LAFC. After a three-game road stretch in all competitions, Dallas return home to host Minnesota United on Sunday.

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