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FC Dallas draws with San Jose to secure playoff spot

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Despite being far from their best results and performances, FC Dallas officially qualified for the playoffs after a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes at Paypal Park on Saturday night.

Heading into the match, FCD had nine options to secure a playoff spot. Option 1 was to simply win. His other eight needed plenty of other results to get the team on their way.

The Real Salt Lake lost 2-1 to FC Cincinnati and the Seattle Sounders lost 2-1 to the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier in the day.

San Jose frustrated the visitors by keeping play open throughout the game and making many defensive clearances, but Dallas’ offense lacked the killer spark that was the highlight of many of the season.

According to TXA 21 announcers Owen Newkirk and Steve Davis, Jesús Ferreira started the match on the bench and felt unwell before the game. It had little effect on flow.

Matt Hedges also rejoined the team sheet, replacing José Antonio Martinez in the 83rd minute.

The Quakes made their first dangerous play of the game in the 4th minute, with Cade Cowell sending Benjamin Kikanović into the box. The resulting shot went outside the left post, but showed how San Jose can take advantage of certain channels.

Dallas responded with Paul Ariola active on the left wing, Jadar O’Brien drifting on the inside to link up with his teammate, and wide players joining the action.

FCD took advantage of that width to open the scoring in the 16th minute. Sebastian Lletget, on the rise, put a pass to Marco Farfan, who sent a cutback into the box. Arriola had a shot, but the ball landed at O’Brien’s feet, who strayed wide of Tanner Beeson.

The goal was O’Brien’s second of the MLS season, his last being in a 1–1 draw with Toronto FC on 26 February.

Seven minutes later, the lead didn’t last long as San Jose scored a penalty after Cowell shot a rebounding free kick into the box that bounced into Franco’s arm. Jeremy Ebovis stepped up and calmly directed his shot down the left, just beyond Maarten Paes’ outstretched arm.

Paul Murray nearly gave San Jose the lead four minutes after half-time. Replays show Paez put up his claws to block the goal.

Much of San Jose’s offense started as a left winger, but he often drifted inside to connect plays, drive FCD’s defense and use his speed to cause problems for the visitors.

In the 64th minute, Tsiki Nzavelen entered the match alongside Ferreira and immediately had two chances. His first shot on goal he was blocked over the bar in the 72nd minute and had another chance five minutes later.

FCD’s attack hit in the 83rd minute after Arriola received a bright red card after smashing his elbow into Jamiro Monteiro.

Dallas is looking to finish the final stretch of the regular season on a high note after visiting the Colorado Rapids on October 1 at DSG Park in Commerce City, Colorado after the international break.

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See The Dallas Morning News’ coverage of FC Dallas here..