FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Fabian Castillo scored in the 33rd minute and Raul Fernandez made six saves for his fifth shutout of the season, leading FC Dallas to a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
With Dallas clinging to the one-goal lead, San Jose peppered Fernandez over the final 13 minutes, forcing him to make five saves, but was unable to break through.
MLS-leading Dallas (8-2-3), which had its unbeaten streak snapped at nine games last weekend with a 4-2 loss at Seattle, is 7-0-1 at home this season — outscoring opponents 13-4.
“I think his performance is some of the best that I’ve ever seen in this league,” FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said of Fernandez. “Tonight he was very good, he took control, but we gave the ball away a little too easily that last 20 minutes and we made it a lot tougher on ourselves.”
San Jose (3-5-6) has only one victory in its last 10 matches and is winless in six road games this season.
“We had plenty of chances, especially in the second half,” said Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop. “It’s just the way our season’s going right now. We played pretty well tonight against a good team at home and didn’t get anything out of the game. We aren’t getting many breaks.”
Fernandez made back-to-back diving saves in the 78th minute, denying Shea Salinas’ 25-yard blast and then about 30 seconds later stopping Adam Jahn’s 15-yard attempt. Fernandez, who shook off a somewhat violent collision with Jahn in the third minute, then stopped Chris Wondolowski’s 10-yard volley in the 81st.
Wondolowski, who matched the MLS record for goals in a season with 27 last year, nearly tied it again early in stoppage time with a leaping header, but another diving save by Fernandez kept it out.
“He made some great saves, credit him, he was in the right place to make those saves, but truthfully, I think I need to finish those, no matter who’s in net,” said Wondolowski, who has five goals this year.
All the offense FC Dallas would need came on Castillo’s second goal of the season and first since March 23, a span of eight games. After receiving a nice lead pass from David Ferreira, Castillo cut into the middle from the right wing and ripped a left-footed low shot from 15 yards that rolled just beyond the reach of Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch, just inside the far post.
The assist was the fourth of the season for Ferreira, who had missed the previous two games with a strained left hamstring.
“It was a great play by David,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “On this play, David took the ball, he went at the defense and I just kept running by him. When he saw me open, he made a great pass for me and then I did what I know how to do, which is cut to the inside and I got a great shot for the goal.”
San Jose nearly tied it in the 41st, but Victor Bernardez’s 20-yard blast bounced off the crossbar.
Dallas had an opportunity to extend its lead just after halftime, but Jackson’s booming shot from 20 yards out curled just wide of the right goalpost.
FC Dallas had another golden opportunity to go up by two in the 53rd after Castillo and Ferreira executed a perfect give-and-go that sent Castillo in on net alone before Busch charged out and made a nice sliding save on Castillo’s shot from 10 yards.
Dallas lost striker Kenny Cooper in the 66th minute after an apparent head injury. Cooper was shoved by Bernardez out of bounds, and as Cooper went down, Bernardez’s foot appeared to hit Cooper in the back of the head. After staying down for about two minutes he seemed a bit wobbly on his feet and was immediately helped to the locker room.
“I think he was knocked out a little bit, that’s the information I have, and now we’re getting information from our head specialist,” said Hyndman.