FC Dallas
FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele (13) celebrates scoring a goal in the first half against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Toyota Stadium. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS – A questionable penalty kick in the 84th minute saved the season at home for FC Dallas as they survived a late comeback by the Vancouver Whitecaps to win 2-1 on Wednesday night and advance to the second round in the MLS Cup Playoffs. FC Dallas will now face the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Semifinals.

The game was decided by the referees as the officials whistled Vancouver’s Kendall Watson for a handball inside the penalty box. The ball appeared to bounce of Watson’s chest, maybe his upper forearm, but World Cup referee, Mark Geiger, saw it differently. Geiger awarded a penalty shot to Dallas which was buried home by Brazilian defender, Michel, and FC Dallas won the match.

FC Dallas penalty kick
FC Dallas midfielder Michel (31) scores a goal on a penalty kick in the second half against the Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted (1) at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas beat Vancouver 2-1. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver’s season comes to an end after a fantastic stretch of games to get them into the MLS Cup playoffs. The Whitecaps came into the match with four consecutive shutouts in route to the 5th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Their four match scoreless streak came to an end in the 40th minute, when Tesho Akindele scored from the right hand side of the box. Mauro Diaz dribbled past two Whitecap defenders and passed to an open Akindele who’s diagonal shot just got passed Vancouver’s keeper, David Ousted.

Before the goal, Vancouver hadn’t surrendered a score since September 27th against Real Sat Lake. Erik Hurtado equalized for the Whitecaps in the 64th minute off of a pin-ball play. The Whitecaps shot deflected off multiple players before falling at Hurtado’s feet who was quickly able to shoot. His shot deflected off of an FC Dallas player and into the net at the near post.

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